Thrive Thursday: Rochester’s Catholic Family Center Helps Build New Lives
One of the reasons I love being a part of Hyatt’s corporate responsibility program is because for us, philanthropy begins at home – in the neighborhoods and communities we serve. A special part of Hyatt Thrive is the annual Hyatt Community Grants program. It puts our local associates in the driver seat by allowing them to nominate organizations making a difference and addressing the most pressing issues in their local communities.
But what’s most rewarding as part of this work are the stories about individuals positively affected by these organizations. So this year, we are focusing on those individuals themselves. You can find these stories at our Hyatt Thrive Tumblr. One of my favorite stories is that of Dinesh, a recipient of support from CFC Refugee Immigration. Hyatt Regency Rochester has worked with CFC’s refugee employment program for many years, and the team is thrilled to award them a Hyatt Community Grant to continue helping refugees like Dinesh begin new lives.
Here is Dinesh’s story:
Dinesh fled from his native country of Bhutan in 1991, seeking a place of refuge and peace. Like thousands of others, Dinesh suffered years of persecution from his government which forcibly dispossessed ethnic minorities of their land and trampled their human rights. Dinesh lived in a refugee camp in Nepal for 19 years where he eventually met his wife and later welcomed a daughter. “Life was very, very difficult in the refugee camp,” Dinesh explained. “We did not have good food, clothing and shelter. The roof of the shelter would leak during the rainy season and we did not have electricity. We used a small kerosene lamp for light and heat.”
In 2011, after nearly two decades living in the camp, everything changed for the better when Dinesh and his family were sponsored for resettlement through Catholic Family Center (CFC) in Rochester, New York.
Dinesh speaks highly of his case manager, Ayaan, at CFC who helped him acclimate to his new city. Ayaan helped Dinesh register for English classes at the adult learning center and also helped him search for a steady job. After only a month and a half, Dinesh found a job with Hyatt Regency Rochester where he quickly became an invaluable asset to the team earning the hotel’s Employee of the Year Award in 2011. When asked how he feels about being named employee of the year, Dinesh said, “I have taken my job here as my personal work, as if I am working at my home”.
Dinesh shared that his family has benefitted greatly from the services at CFC and his job at Hyatt Regency. He says that without CFC, he would not have learned the skills he needed to succeed in his new country. When asked how his life has changed, Dinesh replied, “My standard of life has changed significantly. Because I work here, I have a better life, better food and better things. I did not have these things in Nepal. My life is better because I have a job. I see a big transition in my life.”