Anchorage Celebrates World Refugee Day
Each year more than 120 refugees arrive in Alaska
ANCHORAGE - Each year more than 120 refugees arrive in Alaska.
The journey from their country of origin to the United States can take many years.
Catholic Social Services in Anchorage is the designated organization in charge of helping refugees arriving in Alaska settle in, learn English and find a job.
“We literally meet them at the airport and we are responsible for them for up to five years," said Karen Ferguson, the State Refugee Coordinator.
“The adjustment is sort of a huge leap from living in a single hut, dirt floor with no electricity and no chance for education or employment,” said Ferguson.
“All of a sudden, arriving here, we put them in an apartment. We say this is how you pay your rent, this is how you pay your utility bill and we'll be looking for a job for you within the first six months that you're here.”
Father of three Eugene Sosnin is a private music tutor to 30 children in Wasilla.
But his path in life could’ve been very different.
Sosnin said his family was being persecuted in Russia because they are Christian.
Himself, his wife and their two young boys were granted refugee status in 2005 and were cleared by the Department of Homeland Security to move to Alaska.
"Here in this country, [the] United States, we feel freedom you know, a lot of opportunities to live and believe and just develop our life,” said Sosnin.