These are exciting times for Fidel. Although in many ways he is still struggling, as most refugees do, with finding a reliable job, with providing for his familiy in Uganda and with the little things that so many of us take for granted, Fidel’s role as a key ambassador in the Boise refugee world continues to grow. He continues to be in demand as a keynote speaker for events in Boise, and has once again acted as the Master of Ceremonies at World Refugee Day. There’s more this year though. In March, at the 3rd Annual Conference for Refugees, Fidel’s tireless contribution to the Boise community of refugees was recognized as he was awarded the Refugee Integration and Success Award. Read more about his award at the IRC website.
The future has great things in store as well. First – and something to truly celebrate – Fidel gets his citizenship next week. I, for one, believe it’s truly an honor to be able to call Fidel one of my fellow US Citizens and am so happy that he can now enjoy the benefits that come with it.
The most exciting news, however, is that Fidel has been nominated to represent Idaho at the UNHCR Refugee Congress in Washington D.C.. The UNHCR (United Nations High Commisioner for Refugees) explains the aim of this important gathering as follows.
As we mark 60 years of refugee protection, we look to people who were themselves uprooted for insight and guidance on the way forward. The planning, proceedings, and outcomes of the Congress will reflect the priorities of refugees in the United States.
Fidel will have the opportunity to hear from key policy makers, take part in workshops discussing the challenges facing refugee protection and resettlement and then report out on findings and recommendations. He’ll then have the opportunity to meet with our congressmen to discuss outcomes and recommendations. Is that cool or what??
There is alot of additional activity going on in Fidel’s life as well. Most notable is that he has 2 additional books in the works. He has another book of poems he’s putting together and he has finished the first draft of his life story. We’re taking some care with his life story because we believe it’s such an impressive and important story that it deserves a chance at a real publisher. We feel like we have an opportunity to provide Fidel a national audience. If things work out – both new books will be available soon on this website, and in a bookstore near you!.
On the Uganda front, the family is doing well. The kids remain in school and are doing great. Peggy Doucette, who’s already visited twice, is going again in a couple weeks so we look forward to having more pictures to share.
So – exciting times. We hope Fidel remembers us when he’s a worldwide phenomenon.