1. Introduce yourself! What is your role at LSI and how long have you been a member of the team?
My name is Patrick Karemera. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the National University of Rwanda, and I have been member of the LSI team as an Administrative Assistant since October 2019.
2. What keeps you passionate about the work you do at LSI?
My passion to work for LSI, first of all, is because I am an immigrant myself. LSI helps me to serve the community of immigrants and refugees. I feel blessed to be part of the great work of compassion and love that LSI is doing for immigrant and refugee families. My job through LSI’s Refugee Connection Center gives me the chance to apply my sociology skills within the community.
3. Can you tell us about your journey to building a home in Iowa?
The idea to make Iowa my home came to my mind when I was in my home country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and I won the Diversity Immigrant Visa lottery. My next step was to find new opportunities in the U.S. in 2018. I had a relative who has lived in Iowa for a couple of years, she told me that Iowa is a land of opportunities in terms of education and professional careers. That is why I ended up living in Iowa.
4. How did you feel when you first arrived in the U.S.?
I was excited and happy when I first arrived in the U.S., I felt exposed to a different culture and values.
5. What is your favorite thing about living in Iowa now?
My favorite thing about Iowa is experiencing all four weather seasons.
6. What do you want others to know about our refugee and immigrant community in Iowa?
The community of immigrants and refugees contribute a lot in Iowa’s labor workforce, in different kinds of work around the state of Iowa.
7. What can we do to show our support for our refugee and immigrant community as we celebrate World Refugee Day this year?
What we can do is just spread the word of our mission of love and compassion within the refugee and immigrant community as we are celebrating World Refugee Day.