Nduwimana Sada Nahayo lived all her life in North Kivu, a province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, one of the most violent areas during the Second Congo War and the Kivu Conflict. Sada doesn’t like to talk about or even remember the trauma she experienced and witnessed back in her country. “Innocent people die every day without knowing what’s going on,” she said.
In January 2009, Sada fled her homeland on a bus and traveled through Uganda and Kenya with her two small children. She stayed in a refugee camp in Ethiopia until she became sick in October 2010 and went to Addis Ababa for medical care. She began applying for resettlement in the U.S. in the camp and continued this process over the next two years while living in the city.
When she arrived at the Indianapolis International Airport, she was greeted by an Exodus staff member and interpreter. She felt as though she were dreaming. Surely this new life couldn’t be real? She was excited to have her own apartment, excited to start working, excited for her kids to get a good education, and excited to start a new life away from violence.
Exodus helped Sada get her first job in Indianapolis at the Marriott and after she started working, she began a second job at Target Distribution Center. She’s also working toward her GED so that she can go to college and secure an even better job. She is appreciative of the support from Exodus and the volunteers that she now calls friends, who spend time with her and help her family adjust to American culture. Without this help, she says she wouldn’t have been able to come so far. When she arrived, she didn’t know how to get by in the U.S.
“Now I do everything myself,” she said. It’s amazing!