The Courage of Fazal

Fazal | FSET Success Story

Every success requires courage. Courage to start the journey. Courage to face stacked odds. Courage to persevere amidst unfathomable circumstances.

We’re excited to bring you a very special story today in partnership with ECDC Refugee Resettlement Agency and CW Solutions. A story of a man’s bravery and courage to do what it takes to reunite with his family.

A Complex Situation…

Fazal and his wife recently relocated to Wisconsin after fleeing their native country of Afghanistan. After the turmoil in the country, he and most of his family evacuated for their own safety. Unfortunately, because of the urgency, and complex and troubling circumstances, two of his children were left behind.

After spending three months in a military camp, Fazal and the family traveling with him eventually ended up in Wausau. However, the children they left behind were never out of mind. They immediately got to work searching for a way to bring them here.

The first step for Fazal was to stabilize himself here with a job and transportation.


The ECDC Refugee Resettlement Agency referred Fazal to the Wausau office of Forward Service Corporation where he was introduced to Heidi, who became his case manager. He was outspoken about his need to bring his children here. Heidi listened and helped Fazal take stock of what steps he would need to stabilize him and his family so he could work toward this essential goal.

While he continued his work with ECDC, who connected him with attorneys to work on his case pro bono, Heidi co-enrolled Fazal in Wisconsin Works (W-2) and, in partnership with CW Solutions, the FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET) program to situate him with resources. This included emergency cash assistance and transportation vouchers for the bus so that he could interview and eventually get to and from work, though he is already working on getting his driver’s license and a car.

ECDC helped Fazal pursue and secure employment at Great Lakes Cheese earning a good wage working in production. In fact, he’s already earned a promotion and raise!

Enduring Strength

Fazal and his family are still working tirelessly to bring over their two children. He has also stood out as a model for others. He was the first refugee in the Wausau area to obtain employment. He has set a positive example for other Afghan refugees settling in the area with his determination. Since Fazal started, three other refugees have started work with him at Great Lakes Cheese and look to him as a trailblazer.

Heidi, his case manager, says, “Fazal is truly amazing. He sacrificed for his country and helped our troops back in Afghanistan. He is a positive and contributing member of our community and we are so lucky to have him here.”

Fazal shows us the importance of community. We are in awe of his enduring spirit to succeed—for himself and his family. Here’s a heartfelt congratulations on all he’s overcome and accomplished, and our wishes that he soon reunites with his children. Fazal, we are always here to support you if you need us.

Fazal benefitted from the following programs: