Interview for

Charles Lwanga

12/9/2019

Interviewed By:

Sai Kham Line

Date Interviewed:

Audio Recording of Interview
00:00 / 32:58
Summary

Charles describes his exile from Uganda, refugee experience in Kenya, and transition to life in the United States far from his family. He explains in detail the process of applying for refugee status with the United Nations as well as his goals for the future for himself and his family: starting his own business and bringing his relatives to America.

Transcript
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Additional Notes
Outline

Narrator: Charles Lwanga

Date: 12/9/19


Summary: Charles describes his exile from Uganda, refugee experience in Kenya, and transition to life in the United States far from his family. He explains in detail the process of applying for refugee status with the United Nations as well as his goals for the future for himself and his family: starting his own business and bringing his relatives to America.

Topics: Refugee, Arriving to the US, Family, Language, Employment, Religion, Adjustment to the US, Age, and politics.


Outline

Section 1: (00:00-4:39)

  • Refugee–Charles was forcibly removed from his country of Uganda and ended up in the neighboring country of Kenya. He describes being a threat to the government in his country and that was why he was taken away

  • Arriving to the US––Charles describes the process of apply to the United Nations in order to get granted refugee status. He explains that he did not choose to go to the US and instead the UN placed him there. He waited almost three years to get to the US.

  • Family– His family remind in Uganda while he is in the US. He says it has been hard being away from them.

Section 2: (4:39-12:28 )

  • Language–Charles describes that his biggest worry coming to the US was that despite it being a new place and new culture, his English was not very strong. He describes the difficulty of the AMerican accent and the different pronunciations. He describes that as his biggest challenge.

  • Family––  He discusses how he would need government support in order to bring his family to the US at the moment. He has five children. Although two are now older than 21 and do not qualify as people he could bring over because they are mature adults. He discusses how the ages of his kids have changed since he submitted the application to the UN.

Section 3: (12:28-17:20)

  • Employment–Charles hopes to start his own business in the US. Before coming to the US he was a businessman which was why he traveled so much before coming to the US. He explains he wants to import timber from Kenya. He also describes his current at Walmart where he is an in house associate.

Section 4: (17:20-23:52)

  • Religion– Charles was born into a catholic family, got married in a catholic church and went to seminary school. Charles describes that coming to America his religion has stayed the same but the system in which he practices his religion is what changed. He describes that in Uganda there was a lot of time to pray, while here in UNited States there is very little time allotted to praying. Charles does not like the time limit on praying that there is in the United States.

  • Family––Charles describes that his family back home is involved in church leadership as well. He then explains how he calls his family via whatsapp frequently. He talks about wanting to bring his children to UNiversity in the US.

Section 5: (23:52-32:40)

  • Adjustment to the US–– Charles describes enjoying the hard work culture of the US and associating himself with that same culture. He describes the need to work hard because he is sending money back to his family in Uganda and it is hard to find work there.

  • Politics––Charles describes that he was forced to leave his country because of the dictator in Uganda. He explains he had to leave because the dictator was going to kill him because he was a human rights activist and it is forbidden to speak about democracy. He then reiterates that that is why he had to leave Uganda and although his family is not the most safe there either there is very little he can do.

  • Age––Charles ends the interview with his goals of bringing his family to the US. And that he and his wife are both getting older and nearing retirement age. He explains that he hopes his children will come and continue their studies in the US and ultimately take over his business he wishes to start here.