Manjay, as a single mother, has successfully raised five children in an unfamiliar country. Even when she was struggling, she strove to make sure that her children were healthy and happy. She has continuously put her children first and done everything in her power to provide the best possible life for them.
After starting her family in the African country of Liberia, war in the area forced Manjay and her family to flee from one country to the next. They eventually landed in a refugee camp in the country of Guinea. For three years, the family waited at this camp, where they were without a home or country to call their own. Here, they suffered from housing insecurity as they slept in huts or on the ground, constantly worried about the weather and how they would stay safe. The family experienced hunger while rationing food that had to last the entire family for months. On top of everything else, the family was concerned about the uncertainty of their future.
Finally, after years of waiting, Manjay and her children were granted refuge in the United States of America, but she had to leave her husband behind. Determined to provide the best life possible for the family she had with her, Manjay made sure that her children all received an education and achieved American citizenship.
Each member of this family is hard-working and dedicated to bettering themselves. Manjay works as a custodian at a local medical center to support her family as they pursue their dreams. The youngest of the family, Mayamu (16) and Fode’ (18), are both in high school and working towards graduation. Ayouba (22) works with a flooring company and enjoys the rigors of working with his hands daily. Fanta (21) currently works with special needs individuals while also attending school to become a Registered Nurse. Vamuyan (23) is in school to become a physical therapist.
When they aren’t working or in school, Manjay and her family enjoy spending as much quality time together as possible. They often go to the park or practice sports, as they all love being outdoors. They also stress the importance of eating together as family. Most importantly, this close-knit family plans time to discuss their problems and come up with solutions as a family. They also like to talk about their individual goals and brainstorm ways on how to achieve them.
Manjay and her children are hopeful and gracious for the opportunity to live in their own home. According to Fanta, the best part of the Habitat program so far has been “knowing that you’ll get your home at the end.” She knows that working hard is a vital part of the program, as well as in life, saying that “nothing is handed to you.” The family looks forward to being able to care for a safe, affordable home that belongs to them.