By Julie Peterson, CNN
Clarkston, Georgia (CNN) - Mubonge and Masasu Twachoka arrive home from a chicken processing factory at 3 a.m., ending another 19-hour day. Five hours later, it’s time to get the kids to school.
But there’s no complaining on the part of the Twachokas, just long days, short nights and lots of hard work.
The Twachokas live in Clarkston, Georgia, but their journey to the United States has been long and difficult.
Mubonge Twachoka, 44, is from Congo. He married his wife, a Rwandan woman, in 1990. They have five children, including a 19-year-old son with special needs who uses a wheelchair.
Mubonge Twachoka, who used to work as a nurse, and his wife fled Congo almost a decade ago because of safety concerns. They said they were targeted because their marriage was considered “mixed.” They escaped to a United Nations refugee camp in Tanzania, where they claimed official refugee status.
Over the next eight years, the family lived in several Tanzanian camps. As official U.N.-designated refugees, they awaited an invitation for residency from a “safe” country.
While in the camps, Twachoka continued to offer his services as a nurse.
“I did that job because I didn't want to be like a homeless person. I wanted to help my fellow refugees. If you're helping your fellow refugees, you feel better,” he said.
About 15 million people are living in such camps worldwide, experts estimate. According to U.N. estimates, about 73,000 arrived in the United States in 2010, which is when the Twachokas received their invitation to the United States. For them it was a fresh start: a new language, a new culture, a new location. They eagerly boarded a plane to Atlanta and started their lives again, carrying little more than optimism and hope in their hearts.
"Refugees are the invited guests of the United States. They are not illegal immigrants," said Emily Pelton, who runs Refugee Family Services, a nonprofit focused on helping women and children. Her agency helps families once they are settled in the Clarkston, Georgia, area, which is home to thousands of refugees.
“Welcoming refugees into our country is the noble and patriotic thing to do. We have to remember that refugees are part of our nation’s history and fabric,” she said.
Pelton says learning the English language is the first step in the process of acclimating to a new land. Mubonge Twachoka, who is fluent in five other languages, is learning the language of his new country by taking 16 hours of class each week, working toward his GED at Georgia Piedmont Technical College.
Their long days at the chicken factory might seem like mundane work for someone trained to save lives, but Twachoka said he is grateful for the opportunity to work, earn money and afford food and clothes for his children.
After raising their children in a camp for eight years, a place without electricity and little privacy, Clarkston offers an opportunity for the Twachoka family to improve their quality of life.
Being able to freely practice their religion, travel at will, and, most important, living in a place where their children feel safe are just a few aspects of the family’s new life for which they are profoundly grateful.
I volunteer at RFS since 1999. I am proud to participate in this agency's work among refugee families.
John Sullivan had started on Scripts for Series 5, then the BBC Shelved the Series in their Axing Spree along with After You've Gone and Last Of The Summer Wine.
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as my 14 yr old daughter would say, "Really???" Dude, get a life. He is working, furthering his education and making sure that his kids get to school. I am soooooooooooooooooo sure that you smell clean every second of your life. When you stink can we trade you in for someone who smells better?
You know, I work hard on not being disrespectful to the ignorant, but there's got to be a special place in hell for people like you, Greg. You really need to search yourself, and find some way to cleanse your nasty, wormy soul. People like you really do make me sad, man..
I am privileged to work with refugees in our community and am continually humbled by their grace, dignity, tenacity, and resilience. Many have survived torture, rape, imprisonment, and genocide, followed by years in refugee camps. Many like Mubonge, are educated, skilled professionals, fluent in several languages, and yet they work in the most menial of jobs because that's what they can get and it helps provide for their family's needs. Many refugee children have never seen their home country, having spent their entire lives in refugee camps. And yet these people believe in the promise of America and the dream of living in safety and freedom, and they work very, very hard to succeed and contribute to their new community. They are a wonderful part of the tapestry of our country.
Wow, you have a horrible job. You should go to college (no, Ohio State doesn't count) and get a real job.
I feel bad for you. Your mother's basement must get boring and the lack of social interaction has inhibited your learning.
RFS has done wonderful things, not only for adults but for their children as well. I applaud them for their hard work and dedication to the people who have legally come to this country with the same hopes and dreams that my great-grandparents had: to improve their lives and the lives of their children.
Greg, you ever work till you drop, try it.
I continue to be amazed at how hard-working and strong all the refugees I have met are. Mubonge and his family are great examples of how hard refugees are working to be able to contribute to our society and economy here in the U.S.–much harder than I work every day. Even in a refugee camp, Mubonge never stopped working to help his fellow refugees and support the community–that is the furthest thing from a freeloader and a really great inspiration to us all.
Mark, I'm sure that you've read all sorts of things regarding the differences between "American" Blacks, and those hailing from Africa, the Carribean, ect. As an African American, I can understand how you would draw that conclusion, flawed as it is. One thing that you might do is google "Black Inventors". You'll see the hundreds of African Americans who were instrumental in everything from innovations in electronics to medical breakthroughs. The achievements of African Americans for the most part go unreported. I am amazed at the number of us who work in the fields of Science, Astronomy, Medicine, and so many other fields, contributing to this nation. And I'm doubly amazed at how much of it goes unreported. I understand how you reach your conclusion, but again, I think that if you'll do further research, you'll change your mind. Take care.
I came to America Legally on a student visa from Nigeria. I hear some folks saying here immigrants should leave and you know what? I did. I found America to be a rip off to newly landed migrants, First they give you this impression that it is the best place to live in the world when in-fact it gives you that illusion and then sucks you dry. In my case as a foreign student my parents was paying twice the amount for tuition and I could never be resident since i was a foreign national, so this was paid this until I graduated with no loans. To combine that I paid all types of insurance which i never used and amounted to 1/4 of my tuition which i never got back. Upon graduation I got my first job in an e-commerce company during the internet bubble. I worked my a** off only to be paying most of it to bills and could hardly save. What got me going is that this company promised all kinds of perks.. stock options etc only to go bankrupt 2 months before IPO and I was laid off. I thought to myself seriously this country is a joke and if you get caught up in the illusion you are screwed. You will have to bleed before you see any returns or the other option is to lose your originality and become fake just like the system. I moved to Canada got a graduate degree, started my own marketing company at 26 made and my first Mil at 30. Canada is Not America. The movers and shakers of this country are mostly immigrants who set up a system to ensure its people are ok if you work hard. This is why they never went through a recession. Funny thing is I see a lot of white Americans migrating here and bringing their arrogant Americaness with them. I just pray one day Africa will be ok..I would trade all the glitter to go home if it were just stable and remove those criminal foreign corporations that corrupt our leaders. immigrants understand the meaning of true humanity, brotherhood, family values and friendship. Peace and Love to my fellow Migrants
It always makes me laugh when Americans talk about the country being over crowded when the truth is that you could fit the entire American population into Wales. The British are no better considering the entire population of the UK could into NY State.
What both countries need is a proper immigration policy and aa policy on temporary workers, that may or may not eventually become citizens. We need to focus on re-establishing our manufacturing industries and give jobs to these people for the benefit of both them and us.
Why do we need these people?
Because we need as many working age people as we can get to work, earn and pay taxes so that we can afford to pay for things such as education and the care of the sick, disabled and elderly. Not forgetting that more income from taxes means you can reduce the nations debt.
Whatever system you prefer you have to ensure that 100% of the population is covered by health insurance. Cutting back on the excessive profits of health insurance companies would be a good start to improving health care because at 66% it means that for every dollar paid to them 34c actually get paid for treatments. The British NHS does need improving but generally the complaints made are mostly frivolous and not correct, they moan here if they have to wait a month for a routine operation in an NHS hospital.
The higher tax rate in the UK is now 50% on earnings over $225K a year and you get very few complaints from those who are paying it.
We should look at immigrants as our future because we need them as much as they need us.
I agree completely with you. My parents came here from PRC in the 1990's, and had to work their a**s off to earn the right to stay. Immigrants who come to our country for the most part help our economy by paying taxes, so its a win-win.
And this is news...
I am a 3 time Iraq vet, and 1 time Afghanistan vet. To all those American's who claim this is THEIR country.... Remember we are a country of immigrants. Food stamps take less than 1% of the Budget. He is a hard working man and there are many more like him. He is a good man, and anyone who says otherwise needs their head examined.
Say Pal, Thanks for serving America honorably, and staying in one piece while doing so. :>)
But, I make one small comment about your post. Don't be llke those damn liberals and forget to use the word
"legal" in front of the word immigrant(s).
ola wrote in quotes:
"just to let you know that you father and grand father are the first illegals in this country. Be careful with what you say and what you want"
Oh really? Considering that the vast majority of the territory that was to become the country we know as America today was actually uninhabited how exactly do you figure that?
Oh you must mean the unfortunate land grabbing that in some cases did occur. But, if you are going to bring that up are you also going to bring up the land grabbing that took place between tribes? Or does your guilt trip only apply to white people?
Whether you like it or not all countries have laws with the intent of controlling immigration. And whether you like it or not most of America was rightfully inhabited.
Formal refugee here. I can certainly relate to this man story. Immigrated here one 8.5yrs ago. Just the clothes on my back. Flight expensive, had to back them back to the gov't. I received welfare for 3.5 months. Secured a job immediately after & have worked since then. Attended college during the day and worked night fulltime. Thus far, I have obtain a BS, MS & pursuing a medical doctorate degree (MD). The fact that I have always work, I continue to pay tax into the system. You be the judge.
Well done Sir, well done! I have a similar story to yours however I'm far from being as successful as you! My hats off to you, I know how difficult it is!
Well , this judge says, yaba daba do, Good job and you are a very good example of how it should/can be accomplished. : )
I'm wondering why he and his family were invited to this country at our expense . The fact that schools and jobs are available to him shows that the poor and misfortunate of this country are given a back seat . When a society destroys their own Country,culture and economy and allows a corrupt government to suppress basic rights to food,clothing and shelter,it's not now nor should it ever be a priority of our country to rectify their plight over the needs of our own citizens.When our economy and our employment numbers increase then and only then should someone like this be given access to these privileges . Last but not least, I have fought for this country and so have four other members of my family. When they fight for it and don't just take from it for their own selfish needs, that's when I will support the above article.
My only problem is people coming to AMERICA then receiving AFDC, food stamps, welfare, and Social Security programs they NEVER paid into. This is why Social Security is going broke.
No one receives Social Security unless they -or their parents if they're orphaned children- pay into it. Not even Americans. Who keeps spreading around this ridiculous idea that immigrants tap into Social Security as soon as they get here? I have a childhood friend who runs a small electrician business and spent his adult life saying, "Did you know you don't have to pay into Social Security?" Now, he'll be working until he drops because he can't collect either!
OK, how about legal immigrants who are receiving SSI
Alright, let me try this again, one more time. : )
How about legal immigrants who come to America and who are receiving SSI without having paid into the system.
Do you not consider this as getting $$ from SSA?
Sorry, Mick. You are wrong. I know lots of people who never paid a dime into Social Security, who receive it. Ever hear of widows or widowers? Did you know that a divorced person, who never remarries, qualifies for Social Security based on their ex-spouse's income, 30 years after the divorce, even if they never paid a adime into it? It is sick. I have an Uncle who worked most of his life paid under the table doing odd jobs. He never held a steady job. His girlfriend was diagnosed with Leukemia, so he married her on her death bed. He is now collecting Social Security as her widower. Even though he has never paid into it. He has a new girlfriend and won't marry her, because he doesn't want to lose his benefits. The system SUCKS!
Most Africans work like this man all the time, and without much to show for it. For him to be here and work and see good for his work is a major change, not to mention the freedom he has to take care of his family. What if all of us worked like this? What if our students were like this?
Mr. Stevens: It is normal for people who fail in life to be hatefula and to blame others. We know where you are coming from.
Immigration must stop and the idiots who "offered" safe refuge here should be strung up a light pole. My country is not available for aliens and those here must leave. Get out of my country, get out now!!! My country can not be, will not be, a destination for the world. I'm an American, this is my country, and I'm keeping it.
You are an Idiot, Tha's all.
If you're not a Native American then I suggest you the the !@#$ up! This country was born and raised on the blood of said immigrants and refugees
Why is it that people don't bother to insert the word "legal" in front of the word immigrants when talking about who helped to build America?
Is it because they are trying to convey the impression that this country was built by many immigrants, including illegal immigrants?
Sanibelle wrote in quotes:
"Unless you are an American Indian, your ancestors were once "aliens" too, and probably not too many generations ago."
They were also "aliens" since they came through the land bridge of Siberia and Alaska and ultimately Africa.
A native American is anyone born in America ! Period !
Using the term native American to the exclusion of everyone else who is obviously, by definition, a native American is ignorant at best and racist at worst. American Indians also, and I say this respectfully, did not create the country America either so they have no special right to being called American over any other American, especially those born here too. Stop with the nonsense political correctness already.
The Americans complaining about bringing in and supporting immigrants or refugees have a very valid point. There are Americans and American issues that first need tending to before we keep spending money and aid on others. The primary one being the illegal immigrant invasion from Mexico and other so-called Latin countries that needs to be dealt with before it destroys the country.
just to let you know that you father and grand father are the first illegals in this country. Be careful with what you say and what you want
You are really stupid.
how does one help someone like this man?
I used to live in Atlanta and volunteered with a non-profit (http://www.fugeesfamily.org/) as a tutor. The organization works to unite many school-age refugees from various (sometimes warring countries) typically in Africa, through a common interest in soccer. If you're not local, consider donating. I volunteered with them and can speak to the tremendous amount of good they are doing on ground level. If you want to know more about it, there's a book about this group: Outcasts United, by Warren St. James
I am proud to be here and I am legal...
I wish Mr.Twachoka and his family the very best.Africa is a very sad place right now and I think everyone deserves a new start in life...it does not matter where you go.America is a great place and I love it here.
I think we all deserve a jump start in life.
You are the only sane commentator here.
I work with Refugee Family Services, the organization seen in the video. We work with refugees like Mubonge (including Mubonge and his family) everyday and have many ways to get involved and help refugee families: volunteering, donating, advocating on behalf of refugees. Visit our website for more information http://www.refugeefamilyservices.org
This man deserves US citizenship and hopefully he and his family will become citizens sooner rather than later. It's great that he works like he does and is a provider for his family.
Illegals from Mexico? Now that's a totally different story. They come here illegally and don't deserve a thing except someone to give them the boot back to their country.
If his name was Jose and he and his family were escaping violence in Mexico, they would be welcomed IF THEY WERE ENTERING THE UNITED STATE LEGALLY as Mr. Twachoka and his family, as well as most of our ancestors, have. The only immigration issue with the Mexicans is with the ones who have entered illegally, just as we can't illegally enter another country and live there permanently. I welcome Mr. Twachoka and his family and wish them only the best, and appreciate their hard work.
Regardless of the reason, regardless of the means, and regardless of the country of origin I want all aliens off my land. I'm an American, this is my country, and I am keeping it. Get the freakin' aliens off my land, off my roads, out of my schools, and out of my pocket NOW.
Unless you are an American Indian, your ancestors were once "aliens" too, and probably not too many generations ago. This family has come here legally and is earning their own way, as well as learning English and getting an education. They should be respected rather than scorned.
Thankfully this country does not belong to ONLY you. It belongs to all Americans, and most of them would gladly give a portion of their time and treasure to help families such as this. I work with refugees in America, and they all want to work hard here, and be a positive presence in American communities. Thankfully there are more Americans like me than there are like you. So, keep your ignorance and hate, and I will keep on working to ensure that these refugees transition into this country and become citizens. And since their birth rates are most likely higher than yours, they will eventually outnumber your bigoted kind anyways. What a day that will be!
so much hate,to bad.You're not a real american.
Are you an american native ???? If you are an indian you can talk like u do, IF NOT, YOU NEED TO LEAVE ALONG WITH ALL OTHER NON AMERICANS.
My grand parents were americans by choice, scotish, english, swizterland,french, Irish, and american indian.
HAVE YOU SERVED IN ARMED FORCES OF US ?? iF NOT. YOU ARE THE ONE THAT NEEDS TO LEAVE.
JP IN MISS
There's a big difference between someone who comes to America for freedom like the Twachokas and someone who comes for freebies.....like millions of others
I feel bad for the man but these stories are a dime of dozen. Every immigrant has a hard luck story. We can't take in everyone in the world that is struggllng in their own country.
We need to close our boarders and huncker down. Vote for Ron Paul!
well said, kenny.
Mr Twachoka, I wish you the best America has to offer!! Pay no mind to the "Mr. Stevens" of the world, there are more of us decent folks wishing you well!
I think you need to say home, your people need you...
Your people should have stayed home. No place for racism anymore d-bag.
S.stephens: you are an idiot
It's people like this who have made America a great nation. Hard working ordinary people who value freedom and gladly give more than they take to get it. The Twachoka's are a lesson for all of us...
Excuse me, but if the is working in a "chicken factory", perhaps he is taking a job away from an illegal alien.
Can't have that, now can we. : )
You mean those ones in Arizona public schools being taught that Benjamin Franklin was a racist – they don't need to work for a chicken processor – we owe their whole extended families a comfortable living just for being here
bla bla boohoo,
This is a heart-wrenching story, as I read this man's saga – I try to imagine myself having to deal with what he is going through ... That leave me to thank God for this fine man and his family, that they are willing to share the struggle they are going through. I wish him well, and I believe that God will bless him abundantly. Maybe not in his time, but as this story goes, he has already improved the life of his children by going through what he and his wife go through. Now many parents or people in general are willing to sacrifice their lives so the ones that follow them – will have a better life. Thank you, Mubonge and Masasu Twachoka, you have touched me with your expose' and strengthen me. Please continue in your faith and keep reaching for the stars, good blessings will fall your way more than you will ever be able to count; may God continue to bless you and your house hold.
Iam just a Troll but this story deserves my highest praises.
Good for Mr. Twachoka ! These people are what make this country a great one.. He and his family are looking for a better life and are willing to work for it.
All the best to you, sir, and your family.
I have often said the black race in America will be saved by African refugees and Caribbeans because they come to this country wanting to work and do well.
Yours is a really stupid comment!
I have read that people from Africa and the Caribbean are more industrious compared to black Americans. I wish that I could remember exact statistics, but also, these people are more likely to go to college (as well as be employed)....
i did not think I would be writing more on this subject, but Sally, your comment is not only ignorant, but insulting as well. Did you get this impression from the porter who carried your bags on your last jaunt to Jamaica? Or perhaps the one giving you your foot massage on a cruise? What a truly stupid thing to say. I'm African American, and work just as hard as the next man.
No one worked harder than African Americans in this country. They built this country through their sweat and tears. They were robbed of their labor and stolen from their country. How dare a lazy white call any one lazy. Africans did not force you to do their labor.
If his name was Jose and he was escaping drug violence in Mexico coming to this country to make a better life for his family would the comments be as supportive or would everyone be screaming about deporting him and his family back to Mexico?
It's people like Mr. Twachoka that make this country great! People like Stephens sometimes make me think we're all doomed.
You say-"It's people like Mr. Twachoka that make this country great!"
I Say-Sir, that's a very bold statement. Not true, but nonetheless very bold. :>)
NO, wait, I thought ALL blacks were leaches and on welfare. Get your stories straight America, there are more whites on welfare per capita than blacks. They work just as hard as anyone else.
Nothing to do with this great story however your stats are WAY off. The actual numbers are roughly 35% of African Americans are on welfare vs 13% Caucasian
And the source of your information is?
It's the story of America hard work pays. With no strings attached but asking to make it easier. Is to kill America.
S.Stevens, I know nothing about you, but you make it plain that you are mean-spirited and terribly unhappy. I feel sorry for you.
I reckon I don't have anything to complain about.
I too came to America about a decade ago as a refugee.My first city of resettlement was Clarkstone, Ga.Many moons have passed since those innocent days of touching down in a foreign soil.Life was NOT easy, but with HARD work and believe in the American dream it is possible to look back and say life is good today.We all came to this land because of discontent with the deceit, deception and corruption of our homeland leaders.I used to get and I'm still uncomfortable with the way people look at us (especially those of us with Islamic names) when we say that we are here to better our lives and NOT entertain by the nonsense of terrorism.It is the hunger for freedom and opportunity that have landed us in this GREAT nation of USA.Life is NOT easy, but with every hardship and hardwork comes success....
People like you are what this country is about.
Yes, good for you. Probably why America is known as the "land of opportunity". : )
I HOPE EVERY S O B TRYING TO GET TO STAY IN AMERICA DIES A HORRIBLE D E A T H .period
Mr. Stevens, this man has done nothing to deserve your vitriol. He is a refugee, who works long hours, and cares for his family, just as you probably do. The only thing wrong is that he is working at a chicken processing plant, rather than a hospital, in whatever capacity he would be qualified for. To my mind, it's a waste of a good skill, which we're short of in many parts of our country. I for one wish he and his family well, and welcome.
Exactly how is this man, who has suffered unspeakable hardships, an SOB? I welcome him to America. Its the home of the brave and that's exactly what he is.
Whatever it is that you wish for others, I wish that the fates bless you ten-fold!
Surely you are not referring to your ancestors? Unless you are an American Indian, the chances your ancestors immigrated to the United States. Your utterance reflects a small mind, think before you speak, think before you write.
May your ancestors forgive you.
Would that include you as well? That which you wish for others you also relegate to yourself. Never forget that!!
What a horrible thing to say! HIs family came to the United States to give their children a better life than they had and to escape tyranny! They lived in a refugee camp for several years, worked hard while living there, and I don't see him complaining about working in a chicken factory. On the contrary he is just thankful for being given this opportunity and he is learning the language and is trying to get himself educated, so that he can do something better with his life. These are the people we need to welcome into this country! I am sure with the sort of work ethics he has, his kids will also do great! Keep up the good work Mr.Twachoka and ignore the haters. They are probably on welfare and have nothing better to do!
What a pathetic and miserable person you are.
your more then welcome to survive in a camp
I must assume that you are a NATIVE American.
Anyone born in America is a native American !
Mr. Stevens you need to pray the fate you wish upon this man and his family doesn't visit you or your family. this man is working hard to provide for his family and given time, he will probably finish his education and go on to become an American Nurse and who knows, maybe one day save your life or the life of one of your family members. I admire his drive and desire to survive. You should learn from this man and his family.
If anyone deserves to die a horrible death it is you.
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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