Christina, married with one child, lived in a small town in the Congo, near the city of Gorma. Her husband died, so she supported her son by cleaning offices in the airport.
As the Congo deteriorated into a country with no peace, but constant fear, “with shooting, running all the time, just waiting to lose life,” she needed to leave to preserve their lives. Christina fled to Uganda, across the border from the Congo, to a refugee town where she supported herself and her son by washing clothes, cleaning houses and doing odd jobs (some refugees, who were able to support themselves did not have to live in the camps). However, she worried about her 2 brothers, who were missing after they fled. Two and a half years later, Christina met and married another man, had another child and then became pregnant again.
Christina had registered herself and her children with the Office of the Refugees in Uganda. She also registered her missing brothers, with the hope they would be found. Happily, one brother was discovered. After she married, however, her husband was not properly documented on the refugee application. When Christina left the refugee town, she was pregnant, and had with her two of her young children and three other orphans (a promise made to a friend dying of HIV—“please look after my children and give them a home, everyone else has died!”). Her husband and 3 yr. old child had to remain behind in Uganda. She arrived in Regina pregnant, with four young children and her brother on March 25th, 2015.
According to Christina, Regina Open Door Society “did everything to help.” Assigned a Caseworker, Christina was introduced to all the essentials needed for her first months in her new home. In addition, she was embraced by a church congregation that has made her “feel like a daughter, giving me hope and courage.” Parliament Community Church members have gone out of their way to assist her and the children, helping her “like a parent with their child,” and providing the childcare needed for Christina to take the necessary English classes. Her “Angel Mom, Mama Vicki,” along with other congregation members, make her feel “so happy.” They are also assisting her in attempting to bring her son to Canada, accompanied by her second brother, who survived, and has been located. The lack of proper documentation is making it very difficult to bring her husband.
Christina loves Regina, and is so thankful to be here. Although she speaks five languages, she is working hard towards the goal of speaking English well, so she can better communicate and earn a living to support her children. She wants the community to know that she believes “If I can “communicate with Canadians, I can make a future for my children.”