A refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo reports that when she arrived in Syracuse for resettlement she was bullied in high school. She fell back on her survival skills from back home and eventually summoned the courage to stand up for herself. A resettlement agency in the city also reports that it can no longer find refugees steady work “en masse” with manufacturing employers who have now left the area (of course the State Department refugee contract individualized case management requirement should not have allowed such an approach to begin with). WRVO Public Media has the story:
…For Lorina Mpinga, who was a teenager when she arrived from D.R.C, figuring out high school without knowing English proved to be a massive challenge.
Mpinga was bullied her first year in high school. She had a hard time standing up for herself at first without English language skills, but eventually got the courage.
“I have to make sure I tell them and let them know who I am, not a little scared girl and I don’t want to live a life of being scared of going to school every day,” she said.
Asked whether or not being bullied as a teenager put a damper on coming here, Mpinga quickly dismisses the idea.
“I know, from before, that you always have to stand up for yourself” and being a teenager anywhere in the world is tough, she added…
City officials recognize the refugee community as a source of new population and key to revitalizing the Northside, but for now it’s still a working class neighborhood that has its fair share of crime and vacancy…
the factory jobs that used to be open to immigrants with little or no English are gone.
…the factory jobs that used to be open to immigrants with little or no English are gone.
“There are no places like G.E. anymore, there are no places where you could move up doing a manual labor type job [and] all you need is training basically,” Susan Ohlsen from InterFaith Works said.
Job training programs run through various non-profits help new Americans get jobs in health care or construction, but finding refugees steady work en masse is a challenge, according to Ohslen… Read more here