Sense of Community

Jessica Balisle / KSMU

For Fayda Pires Bown, the path to America has been unexpected and complicated. It was never her dream to live here.

Bown grew up in the big city of Goiânia, Brazil where she had a difficult childhood. She tells me she had an emotionally and physically abusive mother. By the time Bown was seventeen, she had come to the end of her rope.

Jennifer Moore / KSMU

In 1991, civil war broke out in Somalia. It’s a relatively young country, with only 59 years of independence since British rule. At the time, Abdi Tarey was five years old. His father was in the military and things became very dangerous for his family.

“And my mom said, ‘We have to run to Kenya because so many people has been killed.’ And there was chaos and escalation. The government was fighting. The people were saying that the need to overthrow the president. And then, there was too much killing and looting,” said Tarey.

Randy Stewart

In this morning’s Sense of Community installment, you met Veronica Palit from the former Soviet republic of Moldova. Veronica officially became a United States citizen two months ago at a naturalization ceremony held at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. As it happens, the woman we’re profiling this afternoon was the keynote speaker at that ceremony. 

Photo: Jennifer Moore

Veronica Palit says the question she most often gets from friends and people she meets is, “’Where is Moldova?’ That is the biggest question—‘where is that country?’”

I’ll answer that. Moldova is a small country in eastern Europe, one-fourth the size of Missouri, says Veronica, situated between Romania and Ukraine.  It was under Russian—and later Soviet—domination for many decades. Moldova regained its independent status after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.

Diego Brawn via Facebook

Diego Brawn is just 22-years-old, and he’s already living the life he dreamed of while he was a student at Bolivar High School:  Touring with national Christian music recording artists.

The road that led Brawn to where he is today started in Mexico City where he was born.  He doesn’t remember much about the time before he and his sister, mom and dad came to the United States.

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