#RefugeesofTLH | Sifa & Innocent
Meet Sifa & Innocent
My name is Sifa Pasi, but most of my friends call me Pasi. “Sifa” means praise. This is very fitting because I was born during Easter. “Pasi” means iron box. My friend thinks this suits me because I am the mother of 5 boys.
I was born in Congo. I grew up there and married my husband, Innocent. One day came where we had to run away from our home very quickly. We ran with our two sons. War had come. We were forced to flee to save our lives. We had no time to say goodbye to anyone. We only had the clothes on our backs and each other. The war destroyed our homeland. I lost many family members, almost everyone. Innocent lost even more of his family. Both of our fathers were killed. I saw my sister murdered.
For the next 7 years after that, we lived in a refugee camp in Uganda. Life was better there. We made it home. We were given two acres of land where we grew things like potatoes, onions, and cabbage. We made money by selling the harvest. Peas, corn, and beans were the things we mostly ate. We were also given oil and sugar. Eventually, we were provided with shoes and an education. What we did not receive in donations, we were able to purchase using the money we earned from our garden. Life was difficult, but we worked hard.
After awhile, we were interviewed to see if we could go to America. My pregnancies kept delaying us. After years of waiting and having three more sons, we were finally told we were going to Tallahassee in America. My husband and I had never heard of Tallahassee or Florida, but we were happy to be going there. I remember, on our way to Tallahassee I dreamed of what my life was going to look like. I wanted to learn English and send my children to school. I was ready for my new life with Innocent and our five boys in Tallahassee. Innocent hoped for a job so he could support us. We both dreamed of having a good life. After waiting all that time to come here, I praise God for answering my prayers.
Now that we have been here for some time, my dreams have come true. I am learning English. Innocent and my boys are too. Our older boys go to school. Innocent is even trying to get his drivers license. So many people have been helping him learn to drive. We have recently been able to buy a car that will help us once Innocent gets his license. We work hard at our jobs. We have a church. It is one of our favorite things about Tallahassee. We have met other people from Africa who are our friends. We have American friends too. We would like to do things in Tallahassee, especially go to the beach. Innocent wants to learn about the food here and what the dishes are called. We have a good life here and we are thankful. I feel so much freedom and that our suffering has finally ended.