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Painting credit: Ruby Franklin @rubypaints
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Photo credit: Kurt Rosenhauer @krosenhauer

Eeco

Homeland: Burma
Current home: Clarkston, GA

 

My family fled our village in Burma when the military came. My mother was pregnant with me and we crossed over the mountains and I was born in Thailand; we came as refugees to Clarkston when I was a little boy. Miss Pat, (Friends of Refugees’ founder) invited me to basketball and helped me with my homework. Years later, I got to work on staff at the FOR garden; and now I’m becoming a soccer coach! This shirt from my village is a symbol of my people, and reminds me of who we are.

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Painting credit: Ruby Franklin @rubypaints
Home Oculus
Photo credit: Kurt Rosenhauer @krosenhauer

Rafid

Homeland: Iraq
Current home: Clarkston, GA

 

This is a challenge coin, given to me by an American General in Iraq as a token of thanks for my service as an interpreter for the coalition. I never stopped, even when my father was killed because of my work. We had to flee because someone saw me without my face covering in the field and our family was targeted; I am thankful that my family is safe now. Friends of Refugees helped me grow my own truck driving business in the Start:ME program, and I now have 2 additional trucks that have made jobs for others.

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Painting credit: Ruby Franklin @rubypaints
Home Oculus
Photo credit: Kurt Rosenhauer @krosenhauer

Nathalie

Homeland: DRC Congo
Current home: Clarkston, GA

 

Before my grandmother returned to Rwanda, this picture captures the last moment I would ever see her in the refugee camp. She passed away after I was resettled in Clarkston, GA.  There was a civil war in the Congo, DRC between the Congo govt and the Rwanda govt. The reason we were affected was because my family was originally from Rwanda, even though I was born in the Congo. Friends of Refugees helped me launch a travel consultation business after participating in their entrepreneurship training through Start ME: Clarkston.

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Painting credit: Ruby Franklin @rubypaints
Home Oculus
Photo credit: Kurt Rosenhauer @krosenhauer

Nisar

Homeland: Afghanistan
Current home: Clarkston, GA

 

I have kept this prayer cap in my pocket. When I unfold it, I remember Kabul, Afghanistan. I am sure when I pray always for my family, they will be safe in the future. There was a lot of violence, crime and wars. I had to move somewhere to raise my kids so they can learn. My sons learned so much English and American culture from the Friends of Refugees summer camp. Now I’m enrolled in their web development class at Refugee Career Hub, maybe I can find a better job myself in the future.

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Painting credit: Ruby Franklin @rubypaints
Home Oculus
Photo credit: Kurt Rosenhauer @krosenhauer

Ghirmy

Homeland: Eritrea
Current home: Clarkston, GA

 

I’m the last born child out of 12 children. Leaving Eritrea, I didn’t know when I would see her again. This is her handkerchief that I kept with me all the way. Since the Eritrean independence in 1991, when the revolution took over the govt, everything changed. Since I was a little boy. There was no freedom of speech or movement. Nov 2017 is when I arrived in Iowa. I didn’t stay there for long, because I wanted to quench my desire for traveling. Now that Friends of Refugees has helped me find better job opportunities, so I am settled in Atlanta.

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We provide environments where people are free to contribute not only to their own well-being, but also to the well-being of their families, neighbors and communities.

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Cafe Clarkston helps people find jobs

We have seen what happens when women and children receive foundational education: the entire family thrives for generations to come!

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education

Empowering refugees and immigrants by providing employment opportunities through computer access, job readiness training and social & professional networking events.

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