Lucas is 18 years old and a recent refugee of Congo, Africa. He arrived in America with his two brothers, ages 14 and 16, in April 2016.
Lucas has spent the last nine years in a refugee camp in Malawi, Africa pursuing education and learning English. At the age of 9, Lucas witnessed his parents taken by rebel soldiers and never to be seen again. He recalls not having many family left due to the war.
Lucas arrived in America with the hopes of finishing his high school career and entering college. This was not as easy as you might think. Lucas was told he must work to support his brothers since he was 18. He found a job working nights at a laundry. He was paid minimum wage or about $1000 per month. With a rent of $850 per month, 3 growing boys who needed clothing and food and the requirement that he begin paying their airfares to the US, a minimum wage job was not enough. We know that without a high school education, Lucas will never be able to rise out of poverty.
After working all night, Lucas could not get up and go to school. We encouraged Lucas to quit his job and assured him we would find a way to support he and his brothers until he has finished high school. Lucas completed grade 11 in Malawi, but was only able to get documentation from the refugee camp to prove that he had completed 10th grade. So, Lucas is now in the 11 grade at Jaunita Sanchez.
We have currently received enough funds to pay for nine months rent. We want to pay the rent for a full two years and have enough funds to meet other basic needs such as food, clothing, school supplies,the airline tickets that brought them to the US and bus passes, and even an occasional luxury, such as a basketball or an ice cream cone. All funds donated will be held by the church and given to Lucas on a monthly basis. If we raise more money than needed, it will be given to other refugee students in need.
Lucas is only one of approximately 40 refugee children we have assisted with rent, food, school supplies, bus passes, Christmas gifts,clothing, college visits, an opportunity to attend summer camp, and enjoy normal kid activities such as the Roger Williams Park Zoo, the Providence Children’s Museum, a trampoline park, a corn maze, concerts and dance performances.
To donate, write a check to FBCIA with refugee in the memo line and mail it to FBCIA, 75 North Main Street, Providence, RI 02903 or give online via this website.