Finding Hope, In Sugar & Olives: The Sequel

A month ago, “06880” described the amazing journey of Josh Kangere.

After 7 years in a Kenyan refugee camp, the refugee from Congo arrived in New York moments before President Trump’s suspension of America’s resettlement program.

Despite years of vetting, Josh endured many more hours of questioning before he could travel to his new apartment — and life — in Bridgeport.

The Wall Street Journal reported his story. Immediately, Jennifer Balin — the Westporter who owns Sugar & Olives — offered him a cleaning and dishwashing job at her restaurant/bar/cooking school/event space, just over the Norwalk line.

Josh — who in his native country worked as a hospital nurse, documenting rape cases for criminal prosecution — quickly said yes.

Josh Kangere, at work.

Now the WSJ has followed up. A video posted yesterday shows Josh working — with a smile — at his job. It also shows him taking the hour-long bus trip between work and home; eating simple foods at the restaurant, and talking about his new life here.

Jennifer is interviewed too. Describing her job offer as “a way to do something for someone that’s meaningful,” she notes the uncertainty of Josh’s future.

He might be at the restaurant “forever,” she says. “Or maybe he’ll open a clinic, with his medical training, and be a great asset to our country.”

Whatever happens, Jennifer has already been a great asset to Josh.

And to us all.

To see the full, inspiring video, click below:


10 responses to “Finding Hope, In Sugar & Olives: The Sequel

  1. Jacque O'Brien

    Bravo to Jennifer, to Josh, and to you Dan, for reporting the story first.

  2. Tracy Flood

    It is a beautiful story of how one person can really make a difference. But it is at the same time so sad that he has 10 children left behind. We take so much for granted…..

  3. Rozanne Gates

    This is the country I want to live in – when people live with hope and compassion and sharing and understanding that with a little help we can all contribute to the greater good.

  4. Nicole Klein

    Love this story…GO JOSH! GO JENNIFER! Lets ALL keep moving forward, thank you DW!

  5. Claudia Connor

    A thousand thanks, Dan, for covering this powerful story. I work with the International Institute of Connecticut and we are so grateful to you for reporting Joshua’s story. Refugee resettlement is truly life-changing as it provides safety, a new start and hope for the future. Thank you, Dan, for sharing this through your work.

  6. Linda Whitney at Staples

    Now this is how it’s supposed to be in this country.
    Hats off to Jennifer and Sugar and Olives- her baby and creation- and to Josh for hard work and surviving the onslaught on innocent people perpetrated by the purposefully evil who seem to be dominating the world scene in so many places.

    This as our NOT ELECTED PRESIDENT joins their forces for evil for his own gain and that of his BAD BUSINESS friends and family. (Anyone remember Thrush, Spector, Lex Luthor?)
    Does anyone detect a rise in the Ghengas Kahn spirit in the world?
    Do you know how the people of Central and South America were conquered and occupied by the Conquistadors?
    Tuberculosis infused blankets as gifts. Wait for 2/3rds of the village to die, move in and burn everything and enslave the survivors. What gutless, greedy, insane for yellow gold “civilized” men!! Well, at least the “Indians” got to send syphilus back as a thank you!!
    Wonder what these guys are going to get back….

    • Rozanne Gates

      Linda, you are a wonderful person. Thank you for having the guts to educate this audience.

      • Linda Whitney at Staples

        Education is the only way beyond BAD mythology!!
        Unfortunately, people have to want to be educated.
        There are MANY, MANY really WONDERFUL FACTS in the world today- new understandings- that can AND WILL help us in the future when we get past the EGO-STUCK people who want things to remain as they were when they assumed power and started working for THEMSELVES ONLY AND PRIMARILARILY.

  7. Elizabeth Marks

    Hi Dan,

    We are loving what is happening in Westport for refugees! Would you mind if we promoted your article below on our social channels?
    Please let me know what you prefer. Thanks so much!


    Elizabeth Marks
    Director, Community Engagement
    USA for UNHCR – The UN Refugee Agency
    259 W. 30th Street. 16th Floor
    New York, New York 10001
    Office: +1.212.714.1400 Ext. 207
    Mobile: +1.646.701.4693