By Walongo

I am a political refugee from Congo Brazzaville, and a single mother with an adorable little girl. I have lived through some enormous experiences in my life journey – both good and bad – including making a new start in a new world.  

A new start is like being born again. Everything is shapeless and empty. You have to climb a ladder (go from point A to point B) and build a world according to the vision you have chosen – which is not easy, and requires a lot of courage, sacrifice, determination, and patience. 

Being a refugee is a difficult, painful, and traumatic experience.  

Painful because you have to leave everything behind (your family, your friends, your projects … everything you had built) and this sometimes plunges one into a feeling of regret and bitterness. Traumatizing also, because you are forced to face a reality that is not in your favor. The risk is enormous – you live all the time in fear of not only failing, but also of losing everything in the blink of an eye. This fear gnaws at you from the inside and puts you in permanent stress. What you have chosen makes you sick; you become fragile. 

 But the good side of things is that all these hardships do not kill you, and as long as we live, there is hope! What matters is first of all to believe in yourself, to be surrounded by the right people (people filled with love, who have consideration for you, believe in you, above all guide and encourage you). Secondly, it’s important to consider each failure as an acquired experience, and make it a shield – use it in the face of each difficult situation that presents itself – by repeating that this time, everything will be fine. And thirdly, it’s important to learn from each new situation. 

I have been in the U.S. for 18 months now. My true wish is that things will improve in the days to come for myself and my daughter.