January Woman on the Move: Konga

“We Salute Konga”

Konga was 18 and pregnant when she traveled to the United States by herself from Togo in Africa after her family applied for the US Lottery because they were embarrassed that she was not married and wanted their daughter to have a good life. The Lottery provided her a Green Card and Social Security card but she still had to find her own way. When she reached New York City, Konga had no biological family to meet her at the airport. She stayed with someone who agreed to help her family but soon decided that she did not have space for Konga. That is when Konga turned to NMPP for help. One of NMPP’s French speaking case managers, Lucie, with Greater Harlem Healthy Start took Konga under her wings. Lucie advocated for Konga with her landlord and helped her to get government benefits. When Konga gave birth to her son. He was born with a hole in his heart. She was told by doctors that he was not expected to live. Within a month, her case manager Lucie helped Konga to apply for Social Security benefits for her son. With this financial assistance Konga was able to find her own apartment and to better take care of herself and her child. In 2016, Konga will be entering college to study Nursing. She has full-time care for her son and she is determined to educate herself and find a rewarding job.