Tresor Banza was hesitant to open the door. He and his wife, Rosine, had just arrived in Indianapolis, Indiana, and their two young children. They were resettled by Catholic Charities after escaping war in the Democratic Republic of Congo and living for 20 years in a refugee camp in Kenya.
Is it a Tresor? she thought.
Tresor took a deep breath and opened the door. That’s when he met Winnie with a Welcome basket and a big smile. Winnie is passionate about welcoming new refugees as Tresor adapt to their new environment.
It was a meeting that would change both lives.
Tresor: I met Winnie when I first came to America. Winnie came to my house to give me a welcome. I did not have anyone here in the U.S. Everything was new. I thought I knew English—but when I got here—it wasn’t enough. But Dave understood me. Winnie spoke to me in French, and, that was special because we could communicate.
Winnie: I’m glad he opened the door…[Laughs.]
Winnie: I love visiting newly arrived families to find out what they need. As someone who comes here as a refugee as well. I know how hard it can be to start life in a new country. When I asked Tresor what he needed, he looked at me and said, “I need somebody to guide me in America.”
Tresor: I am very, very proud to see someone who comes as a refugee as well, she is ready to serve others and direct them to local resources. Many of the new refugee focus on work. We are human beings looking for hope again.