Ade’s Story of Hope

Before coming to the U.S., I lived with my four daughters in Democratic Republic of Congo. In our city, there were not many schools and only boys could attend. I wanted my daughters to have an education, a future. I wanted them to have a better life.

In 2018, I organized mothers to fight for girls to attend school. The security forces learned I was the leader and sought to kill me. This moment was very hard. They beat me in front of my daughters and left me to die. My family took the children to live safely in another city. I didn’t fully recover before I had to run for my life.

In the U.S. I stayed with a friend, but I had no peace. Every day, I worried for my daughters. Every night, I saw pictures of what happened to me. I could see my daughters’ faces crying. I couldn’t eat or sleep. I thought, “How will I live in this country? Will I see my children again?” I didn’t speak English, I didn’t know where to find an asylum attorney, I didn’t know how to get a job. I felt so much shame and fear.

One Sunday, another refugee at church told me about CST. She said CST could help me find an asylum attorney and a job. When I arrived at CST, I met my counselor. She was very kind. She gave me tea and we sat together. She asked me many questions and listened to my story. She said she could help and, for the first time since fleeing, I felt hope.

With my counselor’s assistance, each day I put my life back together. I now have an asylum attorney who is helping my daughters come to the U.S. I take ESL classes and my English is improving. I have a work authorization and now support myself. I can eat and sleep again and my thoughts are more calm. I meet with my counselor every week and she brings me peace.

Thank you CST Family for resources to rebuild my strength. Though this journey is long, I am not alone.