Monday, November 10, 2008

Catholic Charities Assists Guinean Immigrants Living in Bedford Park

There's a great piece by Steve Kenny in the New York Times detailing the struggles (and subsequent help from Catholic Charities) that Mamadou Diallo, an immigrant from Guinea, and his family faced upon moving to Bedford Park after being granted asylum from West Africa.

Mr. Diallo was having trouble with Con Ed and Cablevision bills skyrocketing for no apparent reason. With assistance from a Catholic Charities caseworker, they discovered that the problems stemmed from the fact that his commonly used name is basically the "John Smith" of Guinea. Charges that were not actually his were piling up on his accounts.

Here's an excerpt from the piece:

“They’ve helped me so much,” Mr. Diallo said in French, which was translated by his wife. “I need help. I don’t need money. I need good jobs. I have to help my family. If you have good jobs, I’m going to help myself.” [NY Times]

This story highlights the obvious importance of organizations such as Catholic Charities which give people the tools they need to create a better life for themselves.

*Photo courtesy of Susan DeChillo/NY Times*


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