Area refugees lose space for vital classes, seek new home


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Immigrant and Refugee Resource Village of Albuquerque have had a rough time feeling at home lately.

“With the anti-immigrant political climate right now, there are so many people that are afraid,” said Nkazi Sinandile. “We really need to be stable and not become refugees again, in America, since we’ve been refugees back in our home countries,” said Sinandile who created the group 10 years ago.

A few weeks ago Sinandile raised money for a van after many of the members reported being harassed on city buses. They wanted their own transportation to avoid the problems.

Soon after, the city donated a van to the group so they could get to and from their cooking and English classes at a local church. Now, they’re left looking at a new facility after not being able to meet specific requests from the church.

“We want a healing place, a place that we can call our own, a place where we are not afraid that somebody can tell us no we don’t need you here anymore,” said Sinandile.

She said the classes they take are vital to helping the refugees rebuild their lives here. In return, they do custodial work and other tasks to get financial aid and food stamps.

“We haven’t had a space so it’s been difficult sometimes to be in a place that doesn’t belong to you,” said Sinandile.

They’re hoping to find a space that’s permanent and affordable to continue growing in their new home.

“Just embrace us, we’re people too,” she said.

The resource village is asking anyone who may have a space they could use, to contact them.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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