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Pascal’s Story: “We have found a peace that we didn’t have for more than 20 years.”

Refugee resettlement at the International Institute of Minnesota

After two decades of insecurity, Pascal’s family has found a safe, supportive home in Minnesota. In 2004, they fled the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo and spent years in a refugee camp in Malawi. Finally, over the past two years, Pascal, his siblings and parents have resettled in Minnesota.

“Being reunited is such a very important thing to me. It is the International Institute that has reunited the family again.”

Determined to become self-sufficient, three of the brothers completed the Institute’s nursing assistant training program and their sister enrolled in dietary aide training. “We believe education is the key to life, to the future,” Pascal says.

“What makes us hopeful is that there is a very good system of education in which everybody has that right of education. It’s something that we have been missing for so many years.”

Despite the family’s triumphs, two of Pascal’s siblings are still waiting to be resettled. He hopes that by sharing their story they might help others in similar circumstances. “We would like the world to know what we have been going through,” he says.

“Some people don’t have any idea what being a refugee means.”

After all they have faced, he reflects on the family’s transformation:

“We have found a peace that we didn’t have for more than 20 years. We have found people that we can call friends, neighbors, and especially we have people that care about us and are helping us to settle in this country, which is not an easy thing.”

(Pascal and his family are featured in our 2019 Annual Report)

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