(CBS) – It was 18 years in the making, and today the wait is over.
Two sisters who have spent much of their lives in a refugee camp in Africa have finally arrived in Chicago.
Georgette and Edwina received flowers and balloons after arriving at O’Hare International Airport, CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports.
They were supposed to arrive in Chicago from Dubai on Tuesday but didn’t get on the plane, because of a security clearance issue amid new immigration restrictions.
Wednesday, they were greeted by congregants and the senior rabbi from Temple Jeremiah in Northfield; members of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and parishioners from Saint Francis Xavier Parish in Wilmette. Each played a role with helping the young women after they applied for refugee resettlement.
The sisters fled the armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1999, when they were just 8 and 12 years old. They are now in their 20s. They had been living as refugees in Zambia for the past 18 years.
They speak Swahili. A translator said they are very happy to be in Chicago. Their first priorities are to find jobs and schools.
The sisters will also be paired with mentors to help them get used to their every aspect of their new lives here.