The drought and famine in Somalia and other parts of East Africa are affecting some people close to home.
A man who had a second chance at life shares his story with Eyewitness News.
Sala Munyati, he came to Utica in 2005. Yet, the move was not that simple.
" We walked like almost one month. Almost fifty days. We walked without no water, no food."
In 1990 Sala fled to Kenya to a refugee camp and lived there with the help of the United Nations. He eventually came to the United States.
The combination of famine and civil war within Somalia has made it that much more difficult for aid workers to offer assistance.
Sala says he has to leave everything behind and risk it all with hope for a better life.
" Any corner you go somebody is going to search your clothes and take off all your clothes... sometimes we put our money here."
And if you don't have money, Sala says they will beat you. He shows us the scars left as a result of abuse.
" Give me money. I dont have money. So he just took the knife and cut my finger. This is from a gun. He shot me right here."
Recently, Sala found out his mother died of hunger. He says he feels helpless and still thinks of her every day.
" Mom I'm so sorry. I see your problem. Whatever I have I would give it to you. But, I cannot take care of you because I have no money. "
The crisis in Somalia is affecting Sala mentally and physically.
He says it is hard to live his life knowing that his people are suffering thousands of miles away.
Since 2005, Sala learned how to speak English and has found a job with the help of the Mohawk Valley Somali Bantu Community Association.
The non-profit organization is assisting the refugees with their new lives in Utica, Sidi Mwalimu, the Executive Director says it is not enough.
" We don't have a grant. We don't have anything. Now we are overwhelmed with people who have stress and high blood pressure because of the pain they are hearing from Somalia. So, we have to pay attention to medical attention first before we do anything else."
If you would like to get involved with the MVSBCA, you can check out their website at mvsbca.org. Mr. Sidi says they can use all the help they can get.