$351 raised
9 contributors
102 Weeks running
Hello! I'm Mary. I am a woman, daughter, leader, mother-to-be, refugee, survivor, student, and citizen of South Sudan. Due to the resurgence of fighting in my country in recent months I have been forced to seek asylum in the U.S. and I need your help!

On June 25th, I arrived in the United States as part of the Study of the U.S. Institutes for Women’s Leaders in Sub-Saharan Africa and traveled to the University of Delaware, which served as my host institution.  The purpose of my participation in the program was to further develop my leadership skills and refine my civic engagement project that focuses on increasing the rights of people with disabilities in my community.  As the program progressed, I received news from home that conditions were beginning to worsen and devolve into civil war in South Sudan.  Upon reaching the end of the Institute, the country was on the brink of civil war and remained unsafe to travel to, so I remained at UD with three of my fellow South Sudanese colleagues. 


Because of the current situation in my country of South Sudan, there are a number issues that make it particularly difficult for me to return.  The level of insecurity has greatly increased in my region in the last few months.  In July, my uncle’s house where I lived was destroyed as it is near a military zone.  When the fighting started, they ran for their lives, taking nothing with them and when they returned, they found everything burnt to ashes. Things have somewhat calmed, but the issue of women being raped still causes me fear, especially because I am currently six months pregnant and that reality could make me a target.  Further complicating my position is that I am pregnanant.


Because of the outbreak of violence in 2001 in my country, I suffered a severe spinal cord injury due to complications from a gunshot wound in my back and neck. In addition, I was shot in my right shoulder, as well as my left ring finger. Because of the physical trauma/broken spinal cord, I am now paralyzed and use either crutches or a wheelchair for mobility.  I also lost my mother in this same violence and my father was killed during fighting in 2005.  As a high-risk pregnancy, ensuring that my daughter is delivered in a safe environment is of the highest priority to me.


After being victimized by the war in 2001, I was taken to the Red Cross in Kenya where I took refuge in the Kukuma refugee camp for twelve years before returning back to South Sudan in 2013. I was deeply saddened to find when I returned still there was fighting and it continues to go on to this day.  


For safety and health reasons, I have requested asylum, as I cannot currently safely return at this time. I can’t guarantee the safety of my health nor the baby during the three days of travel that would be required for my return home, nor can I guarantee our safety when we arrive.


I am grateful to everyone in the community, private corporations, the University of Delaware, and at the Department of State for all of their support and donations.  I would never have made it this far without.  Further still, as I await asylum there are so many things I still need.  

1. Semi-permanent housing for me and my child.

2. Financial assistance for my basic needs of food, hygeine products, clothes and shoes, and newborn supplies, and out-of-pocket medical cost.



My hope is to return to South Sudan with my child one day soon and rebuild my life at home and begin the work in my country that I set out to do when I arrived in the United States in June. Until I am able to do that I am asking you to please donate to my campaign #Asylum4Mary.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story and for considering my cause.  




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