Congolese refugee shares her journey during International Human Rights Day observance

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 11 2013 7:06 a.m. MST

Living within a system of laws and processes can be confusing for refugees. If a refugee receives a traffic ticket, they may not understand that they have to go to court to resolve the violation. If they’re pulled over again, they could be arrested, Francisco-Nez said.

“There are simple things like that are some of the very basic elements of our society that our refugees are unaware of. Often they will find themselves in deeper trouble if they don’t address certain areas of their life,” she said.

City officials hope to expand the trainings, which refugees and immigrants say have helped them better integrate to their new country.

“Most of the evaluations we're getting back show a really high approval rating, as well as the need for more workshops,” Francisco-Nez said.

While the workshops provide an important knowledge base, “the best thing you can do is befriend a refugee. They’re some of the hardest working people," she said.

Refugees and immigrants come from “such adverse circumstances," Francisco-Nez said.

“It’s also helped me be aware of my own privilege in helping people. I love what I do,” she said.

Email: marjorie@deseretnews.com

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