It is because of supporters like you, that Ayuda was able to help save me and my family and put us on the path to recovery.

In 2004, my family and I were separated. I was 19 years old and civil war had plagued my home country of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). After I had to flee from a refugee camp in Burundi, a man claiming to be from DRC offered me help. I later learned he was a part of the Rwandan militia army, those responsible for the Rwandan genocide.

At first, he was kind, but he soon became violent. His abuse became increasingly brutal and frequent. This is when I realized I was being held captive. He forced me to work and continued to abuse and rape me.

After eight years of captivity and abuse, I escaped with my two young children. A truck driver drove us to Burundi, where family friends helped me get to the United States Embassy.

At the U.S. Embassy, I learned that my mother and some of my siblings were alive and living in the U.S. I made the difficult decision to go to the U.S. alone, leaving my children in the care of a family friend in Burundi. I entered the U.S. in March 2013 and was immediately reunited with my family.

From day one, Ayuda was there for me. An Ayuda attorney took the case to bring my two children to the U.S. We filed for humanitarian parole for my children and, six months later, Ayuda brought my children to the U.S.

Reunited, my children and I were finally safe. In the months that followed, Ayuda’s social workers helped me begin to recover from the years of physical and emotional trauma. My family began to recover from the past and focus on the future.

Today, I am working full-time as a caregiver, and my kids are attending school. In July of this year, my children and I became US citizens.

This is why Ayuda matters: Ayuda helps immigrants access justice, recover from abuse, and rebuild our lives.

I promise you that my life today honors your support. From the bottom of my heart, I hope you will give to Ayuda. Please, give generously to Ayuda and support immigrants like me, today.



P.S. I was a refugee, a mother who escaped extreme physical and sexual violence. Ayuda helped me. Today, I am a mother and nurse — safe, grateful, and hopeful. Please, give what you can to Ayuda.

*Name has been changed to protect the identity of the client. Photo pictured not representative of client.

Ayuda's Response to Busing of Migrants

Since April 2022, Ayuda has been working to help coordinate the humanitarian response as the governors of Texas and Arizona continue to send thousands of migrants on buses to Washington, D.C.

We are providing culturally and linguistically specific legal, social and language access services to newly arriving migrants. These services include case management and intake support, interpretation, as well as the provision of food, clothing, hygiene kits, prepaid cell phones, medical supplies, and paid shelter.

Our legal team is providing individualized legal orientations for migrants explaining the immigration system and helping them be aware of their rights and responsibilities.  

“Immigrants are first and foremost, human beings. They deserve respect and compassion, and Ayuda will continue to do what we do best – provide holistic support to those in need in our communities.” - Paula Fitzgerald, Executive Director

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