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World Refugee Day 2023: Nicol's story


Today is #WorldRefugeeDay, a day to honor refugees around the world. To commemorate the day, we wanted to share Nicol's story:


Nicol Kabeya, one of the clients we serve, is a Congolese refugee who has been in the U.S. for nearly a year. Prior to that, she was in a refugee camp in South Africa for 10 years. Currently, she is the primary breadwinner for her four children, and is also raising one of her two younger sisters. Desperate to provide for her family, she started working in a print house that required many hours of standing in a hot warehouse for low wages.


“I asked God to give me the strength to increase my faith and I knew everything is going to be fine.”


Right now, Nicol works with children who are mentally and sometimes physically disabled.


“In America, you can be whatever you want to be,” Nicol said. “All of the doors are open for everyone. It depends on yourself if you want to be someone in the future. If you’re still living, you have hope for tomorrow.”


During her time living in Jacksonville, LSS staff were there to help Nicol every step of the way.


“Lutheran Social Services, it is like our home,” Nicol said. “Every time that you go there, they welcome you, they help you. They will understand you.


Nicol is saving money and has a dream of owning her own house. “I want just to live a normal life…I want to be happy with my family.”

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