LuLu: Refugee Resettlement Program

LuLu always lived in fear. Treated as an illegal in both Thailand and Burma, she moved between villages and refugee camps seeking a safe place. She watched her village burn down and lived without electricity and running water, but she did not give up. Despite the turmoil around her, LuLu found happiness by starting a family. She married in 1997 and soon gave birth to her first daughter. With this joy, however, came new terrors, since she knew that she and her family would never be safe in Thailand or Burma.

In 2005, LuLu and her family fled the Thai-Burma Border and sought refuge in Syracuse, NY. Linda, a caseworker from Catholic Charities’ Northside CYO, met LuLu and her family at the airport, giving them a sense of security that they had never experienced before. Catholic Charities assisted LuLu and her family with the resettlement process, which included placing them in English classes to better their chances of finding employment. Catholic Charities’ caseworkers were patient with the family, repeating words when necessary and treating them with compassion. Soon LuLu’s husband obtained a job working for a furniture manufacturer, and, one year after their arrival, Northside CYO hired LuLu as a translator.

Seven years after arriving in Syracuse as refugees, LuLu and her husband became America citizens and purchased their own home. Despite the struggles that they faced, and those that will never go away, LuLu and her family found a home, and a place where they could finally feel safe.