When war broke out in Sierra Leone, Florie Kpukumu fled the village of Moyamba with her sons for the capital Free Town. Her daughter was in America, and she quickly filed paperwork for Florie and her brothers to join her. When news arrived that she could join her daughter in Georgia but that her adult sons had to stay behind, Florie was faced with an impossible decision. Being in poor health, her family urged her to go.
In partnership with Lutheran Services of Georgia, LIRS resettled Florie in 2003. She recalls with deep gratitude the warm welcome she experienced at the airport terminal, the helpful check-ins at the LSG office, and the accompaniment to the medical clinic in Atlanta. Those experiences made a profound impact on her and today Florie makes a point of giving back so that others can find a path from peril to protection.
Seven years after her arrival, we visited the Kpukumu household on a Sunday afternoon. Family members were bustling about in nervous excitement preparing for a festive family meal. Florie observed everything with the calm of an old matriarch. When we sat down to talk she explained to me why she shares the little she has with LIRS: