Hello Neighbor | Samuel Cyubahiro, Everyday Hero
I was honored to meet T&E Care Everyday Hero, Samuel Cyubahiro, at his home in Wayne a few weeks ago. Samuel is a hard working Radnor High student who arrived in America just one year ago as a refugee from the Congo. Samuel lived through many very difficult experiences in the Congo, and is working hard to change his own life as well as the lives of those he's met along the way. In addition to studying hard for his classes, he makes the time to work after school, to financially help two teenage boys from his tribe who are still living in Africa. Samuel's spirit, attitude and heart are absolutely full of kindness and he's making a wonderfully positive impact on his community back home and in his new home here in Wayne.
I was born in the Congo. As a child I liked to spend enough time with my family and my friends, and to play soccer with my friends. I had fun with my family when my parents acted like kids. I was having a good time when my family, my mom, my dad acted like my best friend. When my parents acted as our age - so just playing together, making jokes - that was so much fun. My life started to change when I was 13 years old. There were different things starting to change in the school. Because, even if something was going on, in our normal life our parents was trying to hide it for us. They never wanted to tell us. They didn’t want us to be worried. They wanted to keep it to themselves. They wanted just to keep us happy. We started to see at school ourselves. Our friends and teachers started to show us what there is, what is going on.
I came to America in November 2016. I was 17. On the flight to the US during the beginning 15 minutes I was so nervous. I felt like I was going to fall down. But it was fun. I was having good time. I was super excited. My first week in America was super strange. I don’t know how I’m going to explain this, but it was really different because there was different things going on to see. It was super cold. It was really different. So other thing - I was without english and everybody we talk to, talked in english so it was really hard.
I got a job for a couple reasons. I like to do myself whatever I can. So whatever I can’t do, that’s when I’m going to ask help from someone else. But whatever I can I like to do myself. If I get a job, I can do more myself, more than to ask other people to help. I feel like I want to change my life. I am helping 2 boys and someone who takes care of them. I say that I’m going to help them because they were in the same situation I was in before, without parents, without family. And they really have a hard life. So before I leave Africa I told them "Whenever I get chance to get something, you will see". I promise them. I tell them I’m going to help you with whatever I can when I get the chance. They came from same place I was born. We grew up in the same place.
Something I like to do in my free time is to go to work out. But two months ago I wasn’t going because I had soccer almost everyday after school. But I’m going back on my normal life to work out almost every day. That’s what I like to do with my free time. My friends would say about me that Sam is a nice guy - that’s what I think. They will say, they never see me when I’m mad. They will say, I think they would tell me I’m a strong person. Because most of the time they tell me, what I come though and how I live my life everyday, not many people can do that. My biggest challenge at school is English. Because everything is in English. So even if you know some stuff, you don’t how to put in English. I’m going to say the language is a challenge for me. Homework is a lot. It is too much. To go to school you need to have something. There is something you learn when you are little kid. They learn how they can study. I never learn how to study. I don’t know how to study. I feel like there is some strategy to do school. I feel like I try to do my homework, but it is kind of tough.
If I could have my photo taken with anybody, I’m going to say - that’s a good question! Martin Luther King. If I think of celebrities there’s some soccer stars, but how they live outside of soccer, I don’t like that. My goal is to feel like I’ve done everything I’m supposed to be done in this world. I’ll be happy when I have someplace where there are orphans and widows and I say I’m helping the widows and orphans. When I see I’m doing something like that, then I’ll feel like I’m done. That’s my goal.
Photography and Interview by Emily Brunner Photography
To find out how you can help the refugee program at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Wayne call 610-688-1313
To find out more about T&E Care visit www.tecare.org