Catholic Charities in Dallas, Texas provides a variety of social services to more than 90,000 people in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. They have been a partner organization of the National Cristina Foundation for eight years, and have received many donated computers. Their “Refugee & Immigration Services” project has made use of these computers to help many recent immigrants. Here are stories about two who have been helped:
“David” is a political refugee from Zimbabwe. He fled his homeland three years ago fearing political persecution and made his way to Dallas. Before coming to America, David attended a local university in his native Africa and dreamed of studying medicine to become a doctor. Like many typical college freshmen, David was active in several student movements to protest the country’s social injustice system. Sadly, David became a “marked man” in the eyes of the government and was facing a long-term jail sentence for civil disobedience. David contacted an international rescue group who arranged safe-passage to the United States. David came to Catholic Charities of Dallas for help in finding his first job in the United States expecting to be washing dishes or working in a warehouse; instead he was given a donated computer and taught how to develop a simple resume and do on-line job applications. Within weeks, David secured a job with a small medical testing lab and today, he is one of its Lead Technicians. Today, David uses that same PC to complete homework assignments since he has returned to school to earn his Pre-Med degree.
“Marie” is also from Zimbabwe. Like David, she was forced to flee her homeland and in doing so left behind two young sons. In Marie's situation, the opposing political party killed her husband and she was labeled "guilty by association." Like David, Marie came to Catholic Charities for help to secure her first job in the United States and she was given a donated PC to help her improve her English communication skills as well as enable her to communicate with family members caring for her children. That was five years ago. Last year, Marie was finally able to save enough money to bring her children to Texas. Since Marie's original donated PC was on its last leg, she was given a second computer for her sons to use so that they too, could improve their English communication skills. Her eldest son used the new PC to prepare a simple resume and was able to get a part-time job after school. When he graduated from high school this spring, Marie's son was able to qualify for tuition reimbursement from his employer and currently attends a local community college during the day and runs the Produce Department of a local chain grocery store at night.