Anifa is from the Democratic Republic of Congo. When she was 12 years old, she and her family fled to a refugee camp in Zambia. She lived there for about 15 years before she was resettled in the United States in 2022.
She came to Indiana because her husband had been resettled here in 2018, even though she has some other family who live in Washington state. After she arrived, Anifa realized that although she had been in regular contact with her husband, things had changed in their relationship. He had met someone else and started a family without her.
About a month after she came to Indiana, she called her case manager at Exodus, and explained that she had made the difficult decision to end her marriage. The very next morning her case manager and a few other staff at Exodus began working on finding Anifa her own apartment and helped her develop a plan to start her life independently in Indianapolis. Her employment specialist helped her find a job so she could begin supporting herself.
Anifa also worked with the mental wellness team at Exodus. Our team connected her to community resources so she could receive support for her mental health and begin building connections in the community. With the resources provided by Exodus, support from her case manager and the mental wellness team, Anifa began flourishing in her new life, finding her own inner strength.
Last fall she went to visit a friend who lives in Pennsylvania, and while she was there she met someone who was also from Zambia, and they hit it off right away. He continued to stay in touch when she returned to Indiana, and has been very supportive of her journey, mental health, strength, and independence. He recently proposed, and Anifa is planning to move to be closer to him.
While Anifa is moving away from Indiana, she feels that Exodus has played a big role in her life and in her resettlement journey. Exodus showed her she belongs and that there are people who care about her and took steps to make sure she was secure and supported on her journey of starting over in America.
Anifa is also beginning to plan for her future. She has an interest in going back to school, and wants to become a nurse or work in the medical field. Back in Zambia she did social work and youth care with the UNHCR in the camp she lived in, and she hopes to be able to work in the same field she is still passionate about.
Anifa says that being a refugee means that while there was something bad back home, the chance of going somewhere to rebuild your life is worth it.
“Nobody wants to be a refugee – it’s not a choice, just circumstances. Nobody wants to leave their life behind and leave where they come from. There is a good and bad side to everything.”
Being a refugee has given her the strength and resilience to get to where she is today, and being resettled in America has connected her to resources, and with the help of Exodus, set her on the path to live a happy and healthy life in her new country.