Client Story One
Obang Agwa's Life History
I lived in an United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) refugee
camp in Kenya for 14 years, from 1993 to 2007. Life in the refugee camp was very
difficult. In the refugee camp I did not have enough food and there was no
medical assistance, and no security. In addition there was no work. The Joint
Volunteer Agency (JVA) gave me a visa to come to the United States in 2007. When
I came here, I went to school to study English at the Hubbs Center where I
continue to study English today.
When I first arrived, it was very difficult to find a
job. I did not know English well, did not have a network of people to assist
me, did not have transportation, and did not know the culture. I began
attending a church in my neighborhood called Lutheran Church of the
Redeemer. I discovered Redeemer walking in my neighborhood and was welcomed
as part of the community there. I was treated with respect and dignity.<br><br>
Through Lutheran Church of the Redeemer I became connected with a program
they partner with called Daily Work which assists people in finding
employment. Daily Work assisted me in preparing a resume and in developing a
strategy to find employment. Daily Work made assisted me in making
appropriate contacts with employers that resulted in my finding a job at
Fairview Hospital working in their material distribution department. As a
result of having employment, I was able to bring my 3 daughters here from
Africa and they arrived in November of 2007. Daily Work and Lutheran Church
of the Redeemer assisted me in finding a suitable apartment where my
daughters and I have now made our home.
In the meantime, with Daily Work's assistance, I have advanced in my job and
now have fulltime hours. I have learned to drive after being connected with
a county program that Daily Work knew of and with additional support from
congregational volunteers. I have utilized guidance from Lutheran Social
Service's financial planning services as a result of Daily Work's
connections that have assisted me in saving enough money to purchase a car.
In 2008 I received a Certificate of Recognition from the White House Office
of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives on June 26, 2008 for my progression
here in the United States.
In 2010 I began studying hard to pass the requirements to become a citizen.
On April 21, 2010, with the congregation from Lutheran Church of the
Redeemer and Daily Work present, I became a citizen of the United States. I
am proud of my accomplishments and look forward to continuing to live out
the American dream of hard work rewarded by advancement.