I’m in O’Hare airport on my way to a RefugePoint fundraiser in San Francisco tonight. And I’m about to see Ajak, a Sudanese refugee whom whom we’ve been taking care of in Nairobi for three years. This is just too coincidental!
Ajak story is among the more compelling and horrible, but her refugee life is about to end happily. She was captured by the Lord’s Resistance Army in Sudan and held in captivity for many years before escaping. Her brother Daniel arrived in the US a long time ago, became a citizen and is now a US Army Officer. We’ve been working with him to reunite all his family members. His mom is now here, in North Dakota, and all his brothers (he lost four brothers in Sudan’s conflict), and his sister Ajak’s first born son. They all thought Ajak was dead. She managed to survive and we’ve been caring for her in Nairobi. And finally she’s going to be reunited with her family, with RefugePoint’s help. She’s in transit now, and arriving at this airport in twenty minutes, in transit to Fargo.
Her whole family is waiting in North Dakota. I spoke with them last night. They are beside themselves with excitement.
I’m off now to her gate so I can meet her. But a last thought… Every time a refugee arrives in the US, it’s cause for celebration. In Lexington, Kentucky a few months ago we reunited a Congolese mother with her husband and three children. That family is still celebrating. Ajak’s arrival today brings our number to close to 10,000 refugees that we’ve helped into the resettlement processes and out of danger. That’s ten thousand celebrations. I’m going to tell the crowd in San Francisco tonight and and we’ll toast Ajak.