Member Agency Story

Helping To Make a Dream Come True

A story about Immigration and Refugee Services featuring Catholic Community Services of Utah

In 2001, when Pamela was just seven years old, violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo forced her to flee to safety in the Mayukwayukwa refugee camp in Zambia. She lived there for eight years with her sister, with almost no hope of a better future. After all, less than one percent of refugees are resettled in a new country.

When she was 15 years old, Pamela’s dreams came true: her application for resettlement as an unaccompanied minor was accepted, and she discovered that she would be starting a new life in the United States.

On October 20, 2009, Catholic Community Services of Utah’s (CCS) Refugee Foster Care program placed Pamela in a loving foster care home. Once in Utah, Pamela enrolled in the 9th grade and went on to graduate from Jordan High School. Now in her third year at university, Pamela is studying Biology in preparation for a medical degree in Pediatrics.

Never during Pamela’s years in the Zambian refugee camp did she think she would be able to get an education, but 12 years later she’s picking out her collegiate curriculum and planning for her future. Thanks to the generosity of all who opened their arms to Pamela – our country, CCS, and her foster family – she is in a position not only to succeed for herself, but also to help others when she completes her medical training.

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    Salt Lake City, UT 84102

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