Congolese refugee family struggles financially making them difficult to earn a livelihood

After years of living as refugees in Uganda, nine of the eleven members of one Congolese family arrived in the United States. But their quest for stability continues.

“We lived a life of running due to wars,” said son Malik Abdule.

Hassan Zakaria, one of the oldest Busimba children, was just five years old when his family fled their home country in 2008.

“We had to run going, like, in the bushes hiding ourselves,” Hassan added, “walking night and day, night and day and we crossed the border (from) Congo to Uganda.”

After years of effort, they made it to Colorado a year ago, only to face new challenges.

They continue to assist their siblings in Africa, hoping that one day they, too, will make it to the United States.

“This apartment is not suitable for us.” Homeless people are sleeping here and smashing down the door. “They’re fighting so much in here,” remarked Malik Abdule.

Congolese refugee family struggles financially making them difficult to earn a livelihood

Their home is too small and insecure, they do not own a car, and their father is blind.

While his sons interpreted, Zakaria Busimba told CBS News Colorado that he lost one eye to illness and became infected with the other years later.

The family traveled to America with the expectation that an operation would restore his sight, but they were disappointed.

“Doctors told my dad he can’t get treatment because they did a lot of operations on his eye back in Uganda,” said Hassan Zakaria, the father.

Zakaria Busimba’s blindness prevents him from working. His wife is a full-time caregiver for him and the younger children.

“He was hoping that if the treatment succeeded, right now I could be at school and he could be working right now,” said Malik Abdule, who was also there.

Instead, the two oldest brothers are responsible for supporting the family while still in high school, working at Wendy’s and Walmart.

“I think it’s difficult for us to work, go to school, pay rent and bills,” Hassan Zakaria remarked.

Their plans to attend college have been put on hold as they work to ensure their family’s survival.

“I planned to start full-time in college. But I couldn’t because I needed to pay the rent. “I haven’t gone to school since then,” Malik Abdule explained.

Volunteers from the African Community Center are attempting to put Zakaria on disability and provide the family with a car. The good news is that the family has found a safer property to rent. The volunteers are planning an online campaign for the Busimba family, and they want to earn enough money to move them in next month.

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