Your Stories

A Child Refugee from the Congo, Reunited With Her Mother 14 Years Later

STORY BY: Karin Gordon
YEAR: 2000
LOCATION: Winnipeg, MB and the Congo

Karen shares a story about Naomi, a young refugee from the Congo who she sponsored as part of her work with Hospitality House Refugee Ministry in Winnipeg*. Karen had also sponsored her family, who came to Canada 6 years before Naomi. Naomi had been lost at age 2 when their family home was bombed, and her father was killed. After looking for her child, unsure if she was alive or dead, Naomi's mother reluctantly fled to Uganda. It wasn't until she got to Winnipeg 10 years later that Naomi's mother met another refugee from the same village, at a chance encounter at Portage Place mall. That person told her that Naomi was alive, and living in Kinshasa, hundreds of kilometres from their home village. Karen found a 1-year window application with Immigration Canada, and after 5 years of waiting, Naomi was finally brought to Canada, and at age 16, reunited with her mother. "She's been a delightful young lady, and it's been wonderful to be part of her journey." Thanks for sharing, Karen and Naomi!

*More info about Hospitality House Refugee Ministry:
"Hospitality House Refugee Ministry is a non-profit organization, and has for many years been Winnipeg's leading sponsor of refugees. Thousands have been sponsored from appalling refugee circumstances, into new hope and productive lives in Canada.They continue to flood into our city, and while caring families look after many, others must look to the support of Hospitality House to survive their first year here. Several parishes and individual donors have generously supported the work over the years, but the needs continue to be great, because the refugees keep arriving."

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