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Finally, I’m Home: Raphael’s Story of 8 Years Waiting for Resettlement

“Anything can happen and your future is over…after years of war, it was hopeless.”

Meet Raphael

Growing up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Raphael was the youngest brother of five older sisters. Together with his family of sisters and a single mother, Raphael was constantly uncertain about the future. Conflict in their homeland, instability, and poverty are the things that he says he doesn’t want to remember.

Waiting for Resettlement

Eventually, Raphael fled to seek a better life. He found himself in a refugee settlement in Namibia, where he applied for asylum again and again in different countries. Just waiting to find a place to call home. Waiting for resettlement.

“The thought of saying one day I wish I could be an American…I could not even dream of it because it was impossible. It couldn’t come to be, so why dream of it? And then, all of a sudden, there is this new door that is just opened for you.”

Raphael, a refugee who was granted entry to the U.S. in 2018

After eight years of waiting, Raphael was granted entry into the United States in May 2018. With World Relief, he set out to begin a new life.

Watch the video below to hear Raphael share about his experience of being a refugee and gaining the opportunity to come to the United States… building relationships with staff and volunteers along the way.


Resettling Refugees for More than 40 Years

For more than 40 years, World Relief has partnered with volunteers from the community to welcome and serve immigrants and refugees across the Chicago area. Together, we have helped thousands of refugees like Raphael achieve stability and work toward a future they may not have dreamed was possible.

You can help welcome refugees like Raphael by applying to volunteer with World Relief Chicagoland today. Take the next step toward building relationships and being part of “welcome” for another refugee like Raphael.

Watch other stories of transformation on World Relief Chicagoland’s YouTube channel!

More like this:

New Opportunity in the U.S.: Jenny’s Story

I Was No Longer Safe in My Country: Yomardy’s Story of Seeking Asylum

A Refugee’s Journey to Belonging: Jerome’s Story

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