Ghost of Midnight

… about neighbors, community and Front Porch Forum

Help Family Reunite

Posted on Monday, April 14, 2008 by 1 comment

Given recent postings about pet-owner reunions, I couldn’t let this potential human reunion situation go by unremarked. We’re thrilled when Front Porch Forum shines a light on important events and the simple good works of neighbors! Thank you Therese and God speed Abraham.

Dear Neighbors – This is an appeal to help re-unite a family. I am helping to raise money for a co-worker at the hospital where I work. His name is Abraham Nhail and he lives in the Old North End. The money raised will be used to bring his wife and daughter to the United States so they can all live together. Abraham works as a transportation worker (orderly) at Fletcher Allen Healthcare. He has lived an amazing life and I’ve heard his story in bits and pieces over time. I’ll give you the condensed version.

Abraham is one of the Lost Boys from Sudan. When he was six or seven the village he lived in was attacked in the middle of the night. The people who were not able to run were all killed. He could not find his parents and was separated from his family. Abraham walked with other survivors all the way to Ethiopia, ending up in a refugee camp, alone, and fearing his parents were dead. When he was nine years old he returned to Sudan hoping to find his parents. He was unable to locate them or find out if they were dead or alive. The government was taking boys who had no parents and he was trained and put into the army at nine years of age. In 1992 he fled on foot to Kenya with other young boys and lived in refugee camps. He tried to learn all he could and survived on his own.

In 1998 he was brought to the US and given the opportunity to start a new life here in Vermont. He worked at the hospital full time and started attending school. He received his high school diploma in 2005. Meanwhile, on trips back to Africa (still searching for his parents) he married a woman named Joyce who was from his village in Sudan and they had a daughter, Anyier. Joyce and Anyier live in Kenya in an area that has daily violence and instability. Abraham has been trying desperately to save money to bring them here. Beyond the financial difficulty, there is a mountain of paperwork, numerous documents, tests and corrupt beauracracies, etc. to be dealt with.

In 2005 he discovered his parents were alive and he was finally reunited with them in 2007. They currently reside in Sudan. His father has serious health problems and Abe sends money to help his father. He often goes without many things we consider basic, does not own a car, and truly tries in every way possible to save for his family, but has been unable to earn enough money to bring his wife and daughter here.

Jean Mongeon and I are two middle aged women, mothers and grandmothers, who have come to know Abraham. We want to help him bring his wife and daughter here. Why? Because it is the right thing to do!

I frequently work with Abraham, dealing with all sorts of patients. He’s a good guy to work with. The older patients, in particular, are always happy when he’s transported them and will tell me what a great conversation they had. He’s a totally peaceful and positive guy. He’s part of the large group of interesting folks who make the hospital a great place to work. We like Abraham and want to see him reunited with his wife and child.

We’re asking everyone to help us by donating *any amount* of money that you can. No amount is too large or too small. We need to raise a total of $8,000 and will quit once that goal has been reached. Nobody is getting paid, we are volunteering. A trust account is established and was opened with a donation of $5.40 from my granddaughter. She said, “I want that little girl to be with her Poppa so I’m giving this money from my piggy bank.”

Checks can be made out to: *Abraham Nhail Escrow Account. * They can be mailed to Therese Giles, PO Box 1684, Burlington, VT 05402-1684. If you want to give cash you can e-mail and I’ll tell you when I’m home. Any help is appreciated and we both feel confident that if you do the right thing the help will come. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and for any donation that you might care to make. Also, please feel free to forward this to anyone else you think might want to help. Thanks again!

Sincerely, Therese Cheryl Giles, RN

UDPATE:  Just heard from Therese that she’s gotten dozens of small donations, totaling about $1,400… a great start, and a long way to go.

Posted in: Case Foundation, Community Building, Front Porch Forum, Local Online, Make It Your Own Awards, Neighborhood, social capital, Social Networking, Social Responsibility, Stories

One comment

  1. […] needed upkeep when the husband died, and more. This week we’re seeing people step up to help reunite a family torn apart by […]

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