Mr. Kigugu came to the United States from Rwanda in 2006. He worked for several years as a caseworker for a New Hampshire resettlement agency, helping New Americans with the many needs and issues that arise after they arrive. He eventually became an employment specialist providing New Americans with pre-employment counseling and post-employment support and assistance.
New Americans came to know Mr. Kigugu as a source of support. New Americans who were no longer receiving assistance from resettlement services were bringing him their human service applications, their utility bills, their children’s school registrations, asking for his help and counseling.
Mr Kigugu saw the ongoing need of New Americans for support in many areas. In addition to practical help, he saw that they need help overcoming the pain of war and trauma. They needed to learn new ways to interact with fellow refugees and members of the host community.
Mr. Kigugu is personally dedicated to reconciliation and peace-building. During his final years in Rwanda after the genocide, he ran a nonprofit organization helping victims of genocide, HIV and war.
Mr Kigugu realized that refugees are best served by people who speak their language and have shared their experiences, as well as an understanding American culture. Mr. Kigugu established Overcomers Refugee Services in 2013 with the vision of settled refugees helping new refugees learn the ways of their new home, helping them to heal and re-engage as active and successful citizens of New Hampshire and the United States.
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