Francis Sengabo was one of several refugees in Albany to share stories of perseverance, courage, and hope at the #RefugeeVoices Symposium at Albany Unitarian Universalist Church on July 2, 2018. He fled the Rwandan genocide in 1994 and lived in a refugee camp in Tanzania for 12 years before being granted refugee status by the U.S. He arrived highly skilled with two bachelor’s degrees from University of Rwanda. But he had little knowledge of English and received support from Emmaus United Methodist Church in Albany, which started a program to use Bible study as a means of teaching English to French-speaking refugees and immigrants from Africa. Francis currently works as the Operations Director for the Refugee and Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus (RISSE), which equips refugees in Albany with the language, literacy, and cultural skills needed to build sustainable, independent lives. #refugeeswelcome
Shot on a Sony CineAlta PMW-EX1R. Edited in Final Cut Pro X.