We want to introduce you to another podcast we think you might love, called Kind World. It features stories of life-changing acts of kindness. And this week's story features a story from the US/ Mexico border.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Modern love, the pad cast is supported by produced by the island, W B war. Boston, hey, just a warning. This story contains details about sexual assault. That may not be appropriate for all nurse. Oh hey everyone. It's magna. I know you might see a new episode from modern love in your feed on a weekend and think. Oh no is this their story, that's gonna, make me ugly cry on a bus, I'm not mentally prepared, that on a Saturday, but hopefully you listen to modern love because it risks where's your faith in humanity, so we want to tell
about another podcast. You might like one that also might restore some of that faith. It's called kind world and its about extraordinary life changing acts of kindness. Today we want to share an episode of kind world with you, it's about a woman, who fled her country, ended up in Texas and now is helping other refugees find peace in America and, if you like, it subscribed to kind world on apple pod casts or wherever you get. Your pipe casts. welcome to kind world, I'm Andreea, Sy I mean Amor what
when asylum seekers make it to the: U S, some have sponsors who can help them restart their lives. Someone like a family member who's already in the country, but others have no one. In this week's episode of kind world. We tell you about our visit to a respite center in San Benito Texas. its mission is to never turn anyone away, nestled Next, two hundred and ten empty acres of land are the four small houses that make up the respite center called La Posada Providencia. The staff here can house up to four. the people at a time, sometimes more if they lay extra mattresses on the floors of offices and shared spaces. Still the most noticeable feature of the property is just how quiet it is in for a lot of its residents who left wars, turmoil or noisy detention centres. That sense of peace is invaluable
the findings. Are you where he was in the kitchen. in the main building where there is a modest kitchen and dining room, were greeted by a welcoming and bright thirty. Five year old woman. She goes by the name. Shalom. Do you live here? Do you work here? I live here. I wake ya Ah, yes, a lot. This is like home shalom who doesn't a use for real name, because her asylum case is still in court proceedings just finished. Putting her one Wilson Emanuel to bed a little more than a year ago. She never imagined she would be in the U S and with a baby on the way. Shalom is from Zimbabwe, a country grappling with extreme economic problems in two thousand and thirteen. She joined the political opposition movement as an activist
The reason why I joined the movement is because I saw what was happening to my own people. It's like the country is now being divided into two like Ryba, shalom. Tribe is different from that of the ruling majority Shona tribe, the same tribe of the late iron Fisted President Robert Mugabe,. in the early nineties nineties, Zimbabwe was hit by the worst drought in its history than several droughts after they depleted the nations, resources and worsen tensions between the tribes. This Southern Africa's worst drought in living memory. What aware was involved was industrial capital and home to one million. People is running out of water officials now, even if my people from my side, even if you like you, I ain't your kid, you don't get too to find it a bit. I told them the infrastructures they're going to one side so does that there is my agent they movement. I wanted to see change for me,
Ethan for the generations to come publicly siding with the opposition group made shalom target. Strange men started following her around and to her home where she lived with her fourteen year old son and four year old daughter. She thought adding distance would help protect them, so she moved her family to a nearby town, but that wasn't enough. In December twenty seventeen, the strange men, showed up at her new. I just had the being and then the kids, the younger one sided screaming running to my bedroom, saw while she was like running to my bedroom. That's why I came out
and then I saw the two men in the house in them. I thought all key. What else can they take on? You have tv sulphur in what can they do at First Shalom thought. The two men were burglars, but when they asked about her activism, she realized it was political shalom was beaten and sexually assaulted in front of her children. The men threatened the kids saying if they screamed they'd be killed. Shalom was left on the floor of the living room unconscious and barely breathing. They did what they did and on they just lift me. The vanguard for myself she kept on he kept on pouring or tell me, I don't know what came to his mind and he acted very fast. So when I wake up, we we had to leave I was cause we're not sure whether those people were coming back or not.
That's! When Shalom made a difficult decision, she decided it would be safer for her whole family if she left the country first, she fled to South Africa there. Some members of our political group advised her to keep going to Ireland. That's where other political refugees had found safety, and so for the first time in her, wife. She boarded an airplane and took off, but when she landed in Dublin officials there wouldn't let her enter the country. She didn't have the right papers, so all she could do was get back on the plane. so I went to the crew. I told him what it happened. They said: okay, we're about to leave in ten minutes time we're supposed to be out of this country you going to any so I remember myself going just blink. I was like weight. Is L a all, my goodness I started crying
I didn't know anything about the country. It was my first time flying after an eleven hour flight shalom landed in LOS Angeles, with no one to call to come get her when she told american officials about the mishap they took her to a detention center where she stayed for two months. There she found out, she was pregnant, the father was her attacker. Shalom wasn't allowed to leave the detention center without a sponsor, so the only thing she could do was write letters to immigrant groups and shelters around the country trying to find any Who could help? Only one letter came back with a yes from the Catholic respite Center in San Benito Texas. luck was always the one that responded by grace of God. They paid twenty ticket in their here. and I remember she came in MID March- and she came-
She didn't even have a suitcase because who suitcase was lost, so she came with a close it. She was wearing that's eighty five year old sisters, Zita tell count who's been serving at La Posada since it started thirty years ago she seemed nearly ten thousand immigrants come through their doors from more than eighty countries. sister Zita says as soon as shalom arrived. She immediately tried to find work, selling newspapers, ironing clothes. Anything she could do to send money to her. Two children And mother she saved every dime. She could so that she could send back to Zimbabwe, but I saw, Well, how? Even, though she was pregnant the week before she delivered, she was out selling newspapers in just to see. You know how much she loved her family and how she was able to sacrifice of his is so powerful.
but it wasn't just her. Family shalom wanted to also help people around her other immigrants living at La Posada, who also escaped harrowing experiences. For me. coming from a different big loan is an african child. Is an african woman? I've never mind what happens to you. You have to peace So in my mind I thought okay, I have to be strong outside, but what is it doing to me Insight shalom realised that sharing her story was helping her heel from her own trauma. So she said- encouraging other immigrants to share there's two together. They talk about their journeys, their struggles and their hopes for the future. she called these sessions. The journey project people are broken, so if you see that someone going through what they going through or their flashbacks, so it's it's kind of like said cause I've been there. I know what it's like, so that's not easy.
Recently Shalom worked with La Posada staff to bring in a licensed counselor for those who really need to talk to an expert. She says helping others through their trauma is her way of giving back to the center. Cause if it wasn't for luck, was either. I dont know what was going to happen to me and for all what they are doing for my brothers and sisters really with weary living God. Ever since I stick my foot here, when the Shalom says she has a lot to look forward to recently sister Zita taught her how to drive, and she can't wait to get her license once she gets her immigration papers. I'm the first person in my family to drive, and I hope and pray that go to keep my mom. I live one day knit and out maybe shallow is now one of eleven full time staff members at La Posada. She works as an assistant and when she's not working she's,
buried in a large stack of books at her desk with her smiley toddler Emanuel by her side he's her only family here. For now shalom wants to get her ged and then a nursing degree. She wants to build a stable life for her his son and a life that helps her one day reunite with the family she was forced to leave behind, will have more after the break. I love spelling my boyfriend and I often play spelling gather by together, I mean sitting next to each other playing individually and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed in sorry. It may have happened again.
I have one friend I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words that I always get nervous. I sent it to my parents or something like that me and my dad. We like to play fun together, and I wish the out I forgot to see it. J, a c k, P, o t Jack yeah yeah, now run nice I'm same as earth's sky. The digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try spelling bee and all our games at N Y Times dot com, slash games, I love spelling my boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together. By together I mean sitting next to each other playing intimate. really and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed in sorry. It may have happened again,
I have one friend I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words and I was getting nervous. I sent it to my parents or something like that me and my dad. We like to play fun together and I wish the out I forgot to see it. J, a c k, P, o t Jack Yeah yeah now run nice
I'm same as earth's sky. The digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try spelling bee and all our games at N Y Times dot com, slash, games, welcome back to kind world and yes mean Amor and I'm Andrea, a Swahili in the first part of today's episode we heard from shalom and sister, Zita at La Posada, Providencia a long term, respite shelter in southern Texas places like La Posada, sponsor legal asylum seekers and migrants who arrive in the? U S with no one to house or look out for. So people can stay for months or a year or more at shelters like La Peseta, but for asylum seekers and migrants who do have family or a sponsor in the? U S, they mean
just need a night or two before they head off to their new homes. That's where places like good neighbor Settlement House in Brownsville, Texas, step in good neighbor, was once just a homeless shelter, but now it's also been designated as a short term, respite shelter for those granted legal entry into the? U S. This is only for the people that have been lucky enough to make it here into good neighbor. We have helped nineteen thousand five hundred and forty p in one year have walked through our doors to get help. They have come from twenty seven different countries all over the world. so it's just not central and South America
what's more, he and Ella Watson, cheese, a native of Brownsville Texas and a former early childhood teacher, she retired a couple of years ago, but last August, Maria Ella started volunteering, a good neighbor, and this year she became the respite director. Now she works six days a week and sometimes up to ten hours a day. She provides legal asylum seekers with what may be their first meal first shower and first set of fresh clothes in the: U S when they get here, we give them hygiene kits, everybody gets handed a toothbrush, we have razors, have feminine pads. We have baby diapers baby wipes. I mean the list goes on. Some people rather eat first, and some people rather shower the majority want a shower, but we get him
Sit down, we give them clean clothes. We really try to make them feel. Welcome. Good neighbor is a place where asylum seekers are able to sit down, take a breath and gather some necessities before heading off to their destinations, but that's not all they do we find out what state stayed there two. We highlight it and we tell them. These are the numbers you can call to ask about a free lawyer. Then we show them this paper, which are frequently asked questions by them, and then this is just their rights because they do have rights a lot of them don't know they do Marion ALA even developed this special map of the? U S that shows asylum seekers where they're going and if they'll need to transfer buses or get on a connecting flight. She and her staff really try to be as helpful as they can to new migrants going that way, walking back over to the clothes room and we're not the only ones, who've noticed just how kind and how
send showed these people are. While we were there. Marianna less showed us all of the donated items they receive from all around the country, shelves staff with close for men and women and children, shoes, socks, underwear, even small things, you don't really think about like belts and shoelaces, both of which are taken by border patrol during processing. You know, I think what probably see as the most about Maria Ellen good neighbor is how deeply she and her staff are committed to their mission of helping every person who comes through their door muddy and treasures. Every minute she spends helping to make each asylum seekers first days in America a little better. She says this work is her calling. I love what I'm doing and I love to see their faces when they're getting the help that they need and to encourage them and the young boys and girls when they're leaving till I got ass yet Brenda
in the square to give it all. You got and learn all you can and to bless them and hope that they do get asylum, and I guess what I was meant to do. If you want to learn more about good neighbor Settlement House, we've got link on our website. W B, you are dot, org, slash kind world. This is the last episode in our special three part Series Lifelines stories of compassion from southern border make sure to go back and listen to the first two episodes to hear more of our reporting from Brownsville, Texas and Matamoros Mexico. Woo the world is a production of W B. U R Boston's NPR station Pa Vikings and Matt, read to our sound design. Additional production assistance from Gabriela are so sky and iris. Adler is our executive producer. I'm am and producer Andreae Swahili and unreported and produce
If you have a story of kindness, you want to tell us email us at world end Wbur, dot, org, orphan, it's on social media or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at WB. You are kind world and heads up we're accepting applications for a spring intern. If you're interested send us an email to, I lab underscore internships at W B: U r dot org! That's! I l a b underscore internships at W B: U r dot! Org! Thanks for listening, we'll see you next week.
Transcript generated on 2022-04-15.