Goodness Knows: Part 2

Written by Cheryl Behrent

In this series about Sarah’s residents’ diverse life experience, we continue with the story of Goodness who shared her story of growing up in Africa in the June issue.

Goodness was 15 when she left Africa to escape death from poverty which was the fate of her parents. Her stepbrother helped her leave. She spent every penny she had, borrowing from others in her village, selling everything of value to get on a plane and fly to the U.S. She had no money, no resources, no job. After arriving, following a long wait, she finally received permission to work. And work she does. She works and works and works but cannot save anything. Now, nearly 60, Goodness reports that the poverty situation in Africa has not improved. She has children in Africa. “I do not want them to be there,” she says. She sends them every extra penny she makes to pay for food and a room she rents for them. Goodness is their only help. “Our family is all gone,” she says. She lives with the crippling fear that her children will be taken. This happens in her country, particularly to the young and comparatively healthy. In the face of extreme poverty and the will to survive, people do unthinkable things. People disappear because they are killed for body parts that can be sold. Goodness also knows she cannot return. Africans still stuck in her home village severely punish people who escaped and return as they are now considered privileged. They don’t understand that she still struggles to survive in the U.S., how people here have taken advantage of her and how her life continues to be in grave danger. Next month, you will learn more of her survival in the U.S. and how coming to Sarah’s ‘saved’ her.