Meet Donatian

Before Donatian and his family arrived in Tucson in August 2016, he had lived in a Ugandan refugee camp for 20 years after fleeing his native Congo.

He had entered the camp as a boy, married and became a father there to five children. Life in the camp was difficult—resources were scarce, people could be malicious, and life was indefinitely on hold.

Since his arrival, Donatian has been making up for lost time. From the start, he wanted to become selfsufficient as soon as possible. Within a month, and with a uniform and bicycle provided by CCS-Tucson, Donatian was working at Tucson Medical Center (TMC) in the housekeeping department. Affable and hardworking and with English skills he’d picked up in the refugee camp, he was soon promoted to lead supervisor and trainer.

“My job means a lot to me,” said Donatian. “It’s stable. It’s good. It’s taking care of all of us.”

Getting on his feet quickly has helped Donatian help others, particularly newly-arrived Congolese refugees. He helps them get jobs at TMC, and since January, he’s been leading monthly meetings, teaching new arrivals where to get food they are familiar with, how to get and keep a job, how to do things right in a new culture, and more.

“I want to make it easier for families,” said Donatian, who visits new arrivals regularly to offer support, guidance, and friendship. With a good start from CCS-Tucson, Donatian is doing just that, creating a meaningful life that he has waited so long for.