Simba Means Strength: Part 3

This month we share the final chapter from a Sarah’s resident, Simba, as she arrived in the US, hungry, afraid, and alone. Physically and psychologically depleted, Simba is so fortunate to not have died on the long journey.

In North Dakota, Simba stayed with the family she first connected to but it was difficult. Simba knew from the border agents that she needed to apply for asylum within five months but the family never helped her get started. Simba still must report in at Ft. Snelling every six months. On one trip to Minnesota, she also sought medical care for back pain from caring for kids and performing household duties. Simba went to a free clinic where a lady from her home country, also a social worker, said she knew the family and did not think it was a good idea for Simba to go back there. The social worker sent Simba to another local group of Sisters to ask for a place to stay. The Sisters connected Simba to the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) and Advocates for Human Rights where she then began the asylum process and treatment for trauma and pain. After one year she received work permission requiring a move as the Sisters’ rules included a 5:00 p.m. curfew. Simba was referred by CVT to Sarah’s.

At Sarah’s, Simba could work evenings. She has her own room and schedule, and
can eat her own food. Sarah’s staff give her confidence saying, “You can do it! People on the phone WILL understand your accent!” The staff wouldn’t make phone calls FOR her so she had to keep trying. She is safe and has peace of mind.

Simba continues working and pursuing her health. Such a hardworking, caring woman, she works full-time as a nursing assistant. Even during COVID-19, she continues her job, contributes $500 per month to the CSJs to support Sarah’s, and helps out with chores at home.