Chattanooga Rotary Centennial Build – Moktar Abo – Completed!
Mokhtar Abo was born in Darfur, a war-torn region in western Sudan. It is home to about 6 million people from nearly 100 tribes. Civil unrest broke out in the country when certain political groups became at odds with the Sudanese government. Abo, who goes by his last name, said the government was not helping the people of his country meet their basic needs in terms of providing adequate access to schools, hospitals, transportation and housing. He said poor people, like himself, typically lived in very modest one-room homes along with their entire families.
In the midst of the war, Abo’s house was burned to the ground and he was forced to flee to Jordan. During this time, the rest of his family – including his parents and two sons – found shelter at a nearby refugee camp. (His family has since returned to Darfur.)
After spending years living in a warzone and another decade in Jordan, Abo finally arrived in the Scenic City on Sept. 19, 2007 with assistance from Bridge Refugee Services. He said it has been difficult being separated from his family, but he has made lots of friends here – including Achan Okeh (pictured on the left) and her son, Robert Bagio. Achan purchased her Habitat home in 2012, and Abo was there to support her along the journey. (He even attended Achan’s closing!) After witnessing his friend’s success with Habitat, Abo knew he wanted to experience that same joy.
Once accepted into the program, Abo spent most of his days volunteering at the Habitat ReStore. He would often get there when the doors opened at 9 a.m. after working third shift at Pilgrim’s Pride. Between his job and working on his Habitat “sweat equity” hours, he also takes classes at Chattanooga State to perfect his English speaking skills.
Abo’s Habitat home is being sponsored by the Rotary Club of Chattanooga. He’s excited about this partnership and the prospect of soon obtaining the American Dream. “Habitat is good. This is your home. I pay not too much money (as the homes are affordable), and I feel free.”
Abo’s Home was Made Possible Thanks to:
Chattanooga Rotary Club
Additional funding, support, Services or Materials provided by:
Church Koinonia Federal Credit Union
Chattanooga Area Volunteers
Daughters of the American Revolution, Chief John Ross Chapter
The Embroiderers’ Guild of America, Chattanooga Chapter
The HART Gallery
State Farm Insurance -Hamilton Co. Agents
St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church
Two Men and a Truck