United African Organization

UAO Staff Member Sondra Furcajg a Vital Resource for the African Community

April 25, 2014Alie KabbaBlog

UAO Citizenship & Immigration Coordinator Sondra Furcajg was a perfect fit. A native French speaker, experienced human rights volunteer in Africa and licensed attorney all in one, Furcajg has worked hard over the past year to improve and expand the citizenship program and legal services offered by UAO.

When Furcajg began in February of 2013, UAO did not provide any legal services outside of the monthly Free Citizenship Workshop. However, in response to increased demand from the Illinois African community, Furcajg had an innovative solution. “We started getting all these calls for other types of legal services. The response before I came on board was to refer these clients out to another organization. But then I said wait a minute, a lot of [our clients] speak French and could benefit from a French-speaking attorney advocating on their behalf. So I started taking these cases,” she said.

Sondra Furcajg meets with a client     

A holder of both French and American citizenship, Furcajg has lived in Chicago for the past four years. Before joining UAO in 2013, she volunteered at a refugee camp in Ghana. She also spent a year in Tanzania working for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

For Furcajg, the security and permanency of citizenship are among the most compelling reasons for African immigrants and refugees to apply for naturalization. “When you have your green card, things can happen where it can get revoked. Citizenship is permanent. There is a sense of security for you and your children,” she said.

Despite the many successes since Furcajg’s arrival at UAO, outreach still remains the greatest obstacle facing the citizenship program and legal services. “If more people knew about our services, they would come to us first. Maybe we can help them. Maybe we refer them. At UAO, our clients always receive quality service and the right information,” she said.

The next Free Citizenship Workshop will take place at Truman College on Saturday, April 26th from 9 am until 11 am. If you or anyone you know is interested in UAO’s legal or citizenship services, please contact Sondra Furcajg at 312-949-9980.

by Max Woxland, UAO Intern

Related Posts