James was not defeated by this seemingly-unsurmountable hardship. He went on to learn English in the camps, emigrate to America, and go through graduate school at PSU.
After earning his degrees, and US citizenship, James returned to Sudan. While working there, helping repair his broken homeland, James met his wife Everlyn. According to James: "She has been a big bright light in my life since I met and married her immediately in 2010." James' work, sadly, kept him away from his wife, outside of the sporadic weeks he could find to visit her.
Everylyn and James now have two beautiful children: Awel and Akol. Unfortunately, they are still unable to be together and raise their family as a unit. Awel is in need of medical care in the US (she has a condition called bilateral hips dislocation). The political situation in Kenya, where they live now, has made daily life dangerous and frightening. While the children are US citizens, Everlyn has yet to get her citizenship. This has made a family reunion in the US very long and arduous.
This family, who have been through so much deserve to be together; a privilege many of us forget we have. Thanks to some help from Merkley's office, it looks like their dream will soon become a reality.
There is one final hurdle for James and his family: the cost of airplane tickets. He works as a public school teacher and supports his immediate and extended family in Kenya and Sudan. Please donate what you can to help cover their airfare. I know the holidays are tight, but this will be the greatest gift you give.
Side note: When I asked James for a better photo, where the family is laughing, he said: "playing, love, and fun are related to one's access to enough food, feeding, and environmental comfort. My past environments had never been conducive for fun photos."
DonationsSee top donations
- Linda Zwetschke
- Nick Thompson
- Christine Simpson
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more