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Cincinnati Prepares For Another Wave Of Refugees

Ann Thompson
(from left) Natalie, Constantine and Gaspar Ndusha recently came to Cincinnati from Uganda. They are originally from The Republic of Congo.

The White House plans to increase the number of refugees this fiscal year from 85,000 to 110,000. For Catholic Charities Southwest Ohiothis 30 percent increase means another 100 people they will help find homes, learn English and get jobs. Since 1980 CCSWO has resettled more than 12,000 refugees. It's estimated there are between 12,000 and 25,000 living in Greater Cincinnati.

The charity helped more than 300 people this past year. Other refugee programs include RefugeeConnect with the Junior League.

CCSWO has helped people from these nations and more this past year:

  • Bhutan
  • The Republic of Congo
  • South Sudan
  • Syria
  • Iran
  • Afghanistan

Among the most recent arrivals are Constantine, Natalie and Gaspar Ndusha. The father, daughter and son are natives of The Republic of Congo. Constantine told WVXU, through an interpreter, that his wife was murdered by soldiers, he was imprisoned and his home was set on fire. The family fled to Uganda where the Red Cross helped them come to America. But because only three members could come he said, "I'm not done yet. I'm still crying."
Gaspar is grateful to be in the U.S. "They used to tell us that America is a land of opportunities. I wanted to come here and start a new life." He was trained in computer networking and would like to go to college in Cincinnati. Natalie has done work as a seamstress.

Right now all three are attending CCSWO classes to learn English and get jobs. The charity says the U.S. government expects them to be self-sufficient within 90 days from arriving in the U.S.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.