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Imagine leaving a child behind

Posted: May 18, 2017

mother and daughters

At gunpoint, Zeynab made the terrible sacrifice to leave her baby Nasteha behind when she fled a Kenyan refugee camp to bring her other children to safety in Canada. Although devastated, she settled in Surrey with her family.

To help her adjust to her new life, Zeynab began attending the United Way-developed and -funded First Steps Early Years Refugee Program in Surrey. It was here that others first learned of her painful story and the three and a half year process of reuniting mother and daughter began.

“When I first heard this, I actually couldn’t believe that someone would be put in that position to have to make that difficult decision,” said Ruth Beardsley, former Senior Manager of United Way funded Options Community Services.

Now Nasteha is here in Canada with the her brothers and sisters and mother. Nasteha just celebrated her 11th birthday.

The reconciliation would not have happened without the support of United Way-funded programs like First Steps and generous donors like you. “It made our family whole again,” Zeynab says. “Thank you for making this happen.”

But you can help other kids.

Right now refugees across our communities are still waiting, wondering when they will see their children or other loved ones again. Once here, many refugee families struggle to establish livelihoods. Poverty can prevent newcomers and their children from reaching their full potential.

Poverty is a complex social issue and affects all kinds of families, not just newcomers and refugees.

You can help families create a better life for their children, by donating today.

Your generosity will support United Way and a network of hundreds of partner agencies that are moving families from poverty to possibility, every day.

Early Years Refugee Program

To view the CTV video about this remarkable story, click here.