Buffalo Refugee Family Still Trying to Find Lost Members in Africa

November 22, 2012 Updated Nov 22, 2012 at 12:46 AM EDT

By Ed Reilly

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November 22, 2012 Updated Nov 22, 2012 at 12:46 AM EDT


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is now sending more refugees to Buffalo than any other place in New York State.

Buffalo has become popular for relocations because there are job opportunities and the City has a low cost-of-living.

Many refugees are coming from places like Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.

Kadija Abdille fled Somalia in 1990 when civil war broke out.

Pregnant at the time, the Somali woman barely escaped with three of her children.

But left behind were three others and their father.

After being resettled in Buffalo, Kadija worked tirelessly to get visas for the family stuck in Africa, but technicalities prevented them from being used, and now Kadija has lost contact with all but one son.

The family's situation highlights the trauma of being a refugee family.

"If you are fleeing Burma, and you are in a refugee camp in Thailand, you may be in that refugee camp for 5 to 10 years. Part of your family might be resettled in Ohio, or they might be settled in France, you really just don't know where you are going to be resettled," said Tarar Lyons, Immigrant Program Manager for the Buffalo History Museum.