In Their Own Words

Our communities are filled with courageous stories of people who have endured displacement, detention, and other hardships before coming to North Carolina.

Watch the short videos below to learn more about refugees resettled in our neighborhoods and their journeys to the Triangle.


The Chance To Live

This short documentary (just 11 minutes!) was created by Grace Keeler and a team of local filmmakers here in the Triangle. The Chance to Live is the story of one family who sought asylum in the United States from the violence in Colombia. This is one day in their life.

Triangle Refugee Stories

The following interviews were recorded by Bull City Doc Squad in conjunction with Durham Refugee Day 2019 to share the stories of local refugees who live in Durham.


"There are a lot of people crossing the jungle or coming in plastic boats to America. This is a different kind of slavery. You're a slave for the dream."

Sergei, an accomplished Cuban surgeon, came to America in 2017 as a part of the Cuban Medical Professional Parole program. After a grueling career in the Cuban medical system, Sergei decided to leave in search of freedom and opportunity. He applied to the U.S. program to create a better life for his children.

Sergei is grateful for the kindness of the people who have assisted his journey and he hopes to give back to his community in the same way.


"Refugees don't have anything but their stories. Only when the American people hear these struggles will they learn to accept us."

In 2012, Safia fled from Afghanistan with her mother and two sisters in order to escape a dire family situation. For four years she lived in India, facing tremendous discrimination and hardship. Eventually, they were granted refugee status by the UNHCR and were relocated to the U.S.

Today, Safia is in school to become a social worker, and she wants to dedicate her life to helping refugees.


"Coming to America is being like a newborn. Everything starts over, and you don't know anything."

It was a normal school day in 2002 when Abubakar’s life changed forever. That was the day that civil war broke out in Central African Republic. Abubakar and his family had to flee their home and walked for 27 days through the jungle to make their way to Cameroon. They waited 10 years before finally being resettled in the U.S.

Today, Abubakar is a community leader and family man. He hopes to see his siblings complete school, an opportunity that he never had.