Photograph by Macaulay Lerman
Audio by Vermont Folklife
1. "I really like changing people's lives." (2:00)
Okay. My name is Trudy Namubiru. I work with CVOEO in the fiscal department, and I'm an accounts payable specialist. Been here since 2020. August. And I'm a new American, as you can hear from my accent. I wasn't born here. I come from a country in East Africa, and I moved here to the US in 2018. I have four brothers and two sisters. My sisters are twins. My family is really big. I grew up with my parents, and unfortunately my parents are both dead. I lost my father last year and my mother in 2010. It was a really bad experience. I've worked with different entities, but the last entity before I worked with CVOEO was actually American embassy in my country. So I've worked with Americans before I came here. So yeah, so I was still in the finance department, still doing the same job that I'm doing actually here. Titles were different, but it's the same thing. So, I have been working with good people, you know? I am married with a child, a six year old girl. She's here with me. But my husband's not here. I've been working for, actually, nonprofit organizations I think, ever since I finished college. I've not had the chance to work in the actual business, you know, profit making. And I don't think I would ever want to because I'm not the kind of person. I really like changing people's lives, and I don't think I'll ever work for a business. I mean, I would just love to work on help--or in a way I can, because that's where my skills are, in accounting. But at least they make a change in people's lives. Yeah.
2. "Poverty is...like a disease." (2:21)
Poverty. Poverty to me is, it's like--It's like a disease. It's not--it's like a disease. You know, like, when you're sick, you don't call for it. You don't wake up and say, "Oh, today I'm going to be sick." No. It's something that sometimes can spread without you knowing. And it impacts on people differently. So, poverty is a disease to me. It's a disease that needs a cure. And people who are poor need help. Like emotionally, psychologically and physically, they need help. Because even if somebody is poor or if there is poverty and you just flush money on them without telling them what to use it for, how to control that, it will still use it. So, just putting money in is not--is good, but it doesn't walk alone. Comes with so many other things that you need to, you know, work with to eradicate it if it's there. And in Vermont--okay, the poverty here is not the same poverty in my country. It's completely different. Because in my country, poverty--people don't have shoes. Here, people can be poor, but they are well-dressed--because, I mean, you can't survive in this snow without shoes, you know? So I guess, I guess there's so many things that cause poverty. And the causes of poverty here are not the same causes back home. So it's a different thing because people here can be poor because maybe they are addicted to drugs or, you know, they, maybe they are sick or maybe alcohol or just general lack of services or lack of, you know, guidance when they're young. So many reasons. Or even coming from poor backgrounds, you know? So, it's there. I see people. I see them every day. And it's sad. It's really sad sometimes, but--I don't know. Sometimes you can just do what you can do. But it's there. It's there. And I see it every day. I walk by it every day. Yeah.
3. "I moved here and it was not easy...getting services." (1:01)
I moved here and it was not easy getting services. I didn't have, like, anything. Like, I can tell you. And it's so hard to live that kind of life where you don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. I actually stayed in different places looking for help here and there. And people, normal people, helped me. This lady, she, she helped me. Housed me, helped me with my child. Took me here, showed me stuff, told me where to go. I also got help from CVOEO because I met somebody here, I think in charge of new Americans and stuff. She helped me throughout. I'm not glad I went through it, but it's good, it's good--it was a good experience because it taught me to actually--it's not like I wasn't appreciating before in life, but at least it made me appreciate people, and it made me know that people--actually, much as people say "the world is cruel, but they are still people who are really kind."