Lucy’s Story – in Partnership with HIAS

by: Amy, Miles4Migrants Volunteer
This story was adapted from our partner HIAS*. Original story is linked here.

*Lucy was a member of an opposition political party in Ethiopia, her home country. She opposed the government’s policy against indigenous peoples, and actively protested against discrimination policies that seized their land.

In 2016, she was kidnapped and tortured by government forces. After her release, she knew that neither her or her family would be safe in Ethiopia. She traveled to the U.S. on a tourist visa first and began the asylum application process with our new partner, HIAS.

Fortunately, one year later, she was granted asylum in the U.S. HIAS helped Lucy petition for her husband and 3 young children to join her. When the petition was successful, Miles4Migrants’ donor Josh Shapiro provided the miles that booked their flights from Ethiopia to the U.S.

In April 2019, she was reunited with her family in Maryland.The family had been apart for 3 years, and her children – now 3, 7, and 9 years old – had grown up while she had been separated.

“Oh my God, I am so happy,” Lucy said.

*Lucy is a pseudonym.

How Miles4Migrants helps

We collaborate with a network of global non-governmental organization (NGO) partners who work directly with refugees and migrants to identify and verify individuals who are financially unable to afford air travel. Once our partners submit flight requests, we use donated frequent flyer miles, credit card points, travel vouchers, and cash to eliminate transportation barriers for the most vulnerable individuals affected by war, persecution, or climate disaster. Our goal is to help these individuals reunite with their loved ones and start a new life in a safe environment.

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– According to the United Nations, there are currently 108 million individuals forcibly displaced from their homes worldwide.  

– The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that seeking asylum is a fundamental human right. Everyone has the right to life and liberty. Everyone has the right to freedom from fear. Everyone has the right to seek asylum from persecution.

As migration is often the last option for survival, migrants may embark on clandestine journeys, subject to danger, extortion, and inhumane conditions

Once they finally get legal approval for resettlement, migrants face another challenge that makes the journey seem impossible: the transportation costs.

There are many ways for you to get involved and help us continue our work:

You can donate cash to help us cover operational expenses or contribute your unused air miles, credit card points, or travel vouchers to help us book flights for refugees and asylum seekers. Additionally, you can help us spread the word about our cause and our impact on the lives of those we serve.

Every donation, no matter how big or small, has the power to make a difference. Thank you for considering supporting our mission.

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