There Is Always Hope!

“We were very poor and lived day by day.”

I came to Utah with my four children as refugees from the Congo. When I came to the LDS Humanitarian Center, I did not know what to expect. My English was not very good and I did not know what job I could do. I had no professional training. We were very poor and lived day by day.

I told my job coach I wanted to learn English so I could find work to support my children. I was a hard worker and willing to learn. She looked at me in the eyes and told me that I am a daughter of God, and there is always hope. She also told me that even though I come from a poor background, what counts is my willingness to learn and to work hard. Together we made a plan. I would attend the ESL class at the Humanitarian Center and do my best to follow the suggestions of the teacher and do my assignments.

Because I have four children, I had to take care of them first. I had to look for a good daycare and also a good school. They needed a school that would help them with their lack of English. One of my children has behavior issues, so I needed a school with a behavior therapist too. We also needed an affordable place to live, for when the government assistance ended.

I was overwhelmed. I could not do it by myself. Together we broke down everything into little steps. We used the help of my case worker, development counselor, and mentor. I thought I had too many things to fix and change, but everything fell in the right place. My life became more organized and I was able to focus on the training I needed to get a job.

My job coach, my development specialist, my mentor, and all of the staff members at the Humanitarian Center treated me with respect and love. My job coach was with me every step of the way. She came to my interviews, coached me, hugged me when I needed it, and showed me I could work and be successful.

I never dreamed that I could have a well-paid job with benefits, as someone who speaks little English and has never worked before. I found a good job as a dishwasher. I have a badge stating that I am a staff member of a large hospital. I am respected and loved by the manager of the cafeteria. I am treated like everyone else in the kitchen and my direct supervisor values my opinion. I make enough money to be proud of myself and to provide for my children.

In less than 18 months, I found a new vision for my life. I was given the opportunity to forget about my past and the confidence to look forward to my future. I am very grateful and happy that I walked into the Humanitarian Center. I not only was given the tools to improve my English and work skills, but I was given hope. I look forward to my future and I am thrilled.

"I thought I had too many things to fix and change, but everything fell in the right place."

For more amazing stories like Pelagie’s, visit the DI’s Facebook page by clicking here.