Every two seconds, crisis and conflict uproot a life across the globe.
A life like Andrew’s.
In his native Kenya, Andrew was an engineer and a successful entrepreneur, having built his own electrical services company. But government corruption and demands for bribes made daily life dangerous for Andrew and his family. When he could no longer meet the demands, his wife and child were assaulted in the family’s home. Andrew knew they had no choice but to leave their home, extended family, and the business he had worked so hard to build behind.
The family sought temporary refuge in neighboring countries, but wanted to find a safe, permanent place to rebuild their lives. Eventually, the family made it to the U.S., settling in the Seattle area — but the security and stability they longed for remained out of reach.
“Running away and then paying for tickets to the U.S. drained our savings,” Andrew said. “I thought this was the end of the road for my engineering career, and I had to take what life was offering me.”
The family of four was renting an upstairs portion of a house with one bedroom and no kitchen. Andrew and his wife were working low-wage jobs a combined 24 hours a day, alternating shifts so they could care for their children. Yet the debts kept escalating, and Andrew and his wife were struggling to pay their bills.
“It felt like there was no end,” he recalled.
“Hope Was Restored”
Andrew found Upwardly Global’s website while searching for information on recertification. UpGlo’s program seemed tailor-made for his situation, but the precarious balance of their lives left him with little time to focus on a job search.
“I worried about the time and commitment, but I could see that the services were really important — all the Frequently Asked Questions on the website were the questions I had been asking myself,” he said.
Upwardly Global’s training program gave Andrew the tools and knowledge to overcome the cultural differences that had been holding him back in his job search. UpGlo has supported nearly 2,000 refugees, asylees, and Special Immigrant Visa-holders in rebuilding professional careers in the U.S. These men and women represent nearly 100 countries, and each has a story of perseverance and determination to build a better life for themselves and their families.
On World Refugee Day — and every day — Upwardly Global celebrates their journeys and works to build economies and communities where #WeAllGlo.
After completing UpGlo’s training, Andrew secured a job as a project engineer with an electrical contractor. This was a turning point for Andrew, and for his family.
“We were able to buy a car and rent our own place. My son is enrolled in an after-school program with music, art, and drama,” he said. “Hope was restored and our lives have changed, thanks to the training and guidance from Upwardly Global.”