The word is spreading on the grapevine in the Lower 48 that Anchorage is a place where the refugees can find work.
Rebecca Kuon, a mother who fled pregnant from her village in southern Sudan after civil war broke out in the 1980s, arrived in Anchorage last year.
She washes dishes at a local hospital and hopes to start a second job soon.
Tor Gach, one of the first Sudanese refugees to move to Anchorage in 2006, has a college degree from the Lower 48. Now he’s working on the North Slope.
In just two years, the Sudanese population in Anchorage has blossomed—from a few who arrived in 2006 to a vibrant community now estimated at 600.
A new nonprofit, the South Sudanese American Community Association, is modeled after similar nonprofits that have been established by Sudanese refugees in the Lower 48.