DuPage Habitat for Humanity


Buba's Story

Buba and her family gain strength through DuPage Habitat.

Buba came to the United States as a refugee, with only her clothes, her 50-year-old mother, and 3-year-old daughter. In fact, Buba had spent her whole life as a refugee – starting from the day she was born in Sudan. She knew within three months of her arrival, she needed to find a job and become self-sufficient. But Buba stayed ahead of the curve at every chance she had. In the past five years, she’s attended school full time while simultaneously working full time, along with setting and achieving goals through Bridge Communities. Through the Bridge program, Buba learned to be independent and found an inspiration to get things done, all within her first two years.

Not everything about her move to America was easy, but she always held hope. Before the move, Buba’s mother was the head of their household. But Buba quickly stepped up to fill the role after they arrived, because her mother has a disability that prevents her from working. “Everything was different. I spoke a little English, but it wasn’t that good. So it was harder to communicate, especially coming as a refugee,” Buba says. “The reason I came to this country is to have a better life, so I decided, ‘I’m gonna go to school, graduate, have a better job, take care of myself, and my mom and daughter.’ And I want to be an example for my daughter, a role model.”

Part of setting an example is finding a solid, stable home-base for her daughter to grow up. Buba says she’s had to move their family four different times in five years – which really started to take a toll on her daughter. Even before they came to the U.S., they had always rented, and never owned a home. Buba had a number of blessings on her side – finding Bridge Communities, and a mother who could watch her daughter while she was busy working hard for that better life they yearned for. So when she found the opportunity for homeownership through DuPage Habitat for Humanity, Buba knew it was another blessing and the perfect match for her can-do, will-do attitude.

Buba really put her strength to the test during her sweat equity period. She was so excited by the opportunity she saw for her family, and determined to get things rolling as quickly as possible, that she finished her 250 sweat equity hours in just over three months. She admits it was tough, but her inspiration kept her going. She knew it would be worth it for the three of them to have their own home for the first time.


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