8x10 familyImagine that your home is under violent attack. You are forced to gather your six small children along with whatever you can carry on your back and travel hundreds of miles to a new home – in a refugee camp. This is exactly what happened to the Kagame family and their small children when tensions from the Rwandan Civil War spilled over into their home of Zaire. In Uganda, they found safety at a refugee camp, hoping to return home once the war subsided. But 10 years and 2 children later, another tragedy struck when their mother and father passed away due to illness over the course of a single year. Although the older children tried to care for the family, when an opportunity presented itself for the five youngest to come to America, the family split up and the five youngest children boarded a plane. The journey was long and terrifying for the children, one refusing to eat the unfamiliar food. But upon arrival at the Salt Lake City airport, the children were met by Catholic Community Services of Utah who introduced them to their new foster family, the Andersons.

This was the first time the Andersons had been foster parents, but after working part time for a foster care agency, they knew this is what they wanted. With their two biological children the Andersons welcomed all five children in to their home so they did not have to be separated. The adjustment was hard at first; learning the language and culture, going to American schools, and being away from all they had known in the refugee camp. But today, the children are thriving. The oldest three are attending college and working, while the two youngest have become great soccer players- one is on a full scholarship at the REAL academy in Phoenix.

At the Heart of our Community are people like the Kagame and Anderson families and organizations like Catholic Community Services where their mission is to empower people in need along the Wasatch Front to reach self-sufficiency. It’s what makes Our Community great!

Find out more information on Catholic Community Services at https://www.ccsutah.org/. Click the donate button to support their amazing efforts or contact them directly to volunteer.

The story of the Kagame and Anderson families is brought to you through the Utah Bankers Heart of Our Community initiative. For more stories like this follow us on FaceBook, Google+, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest – #heartofourcommunity  #utahsbanks #catholiccommunityservices