• Archived Posts

  • Get Involved

    Red Cross University
    Take a Social Basics class to learn how to be a digital advocate, or join our disaster digital volunteer team!




    We use TeamLab Online Office

Pascaline Mavugo: A Harrowing Story of Survival with Glimmers of Hope

By Anita Foster, American Red Cross North Texas Region

After becoming separated from her siblings while escaping violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pascaline Maguvo turned to the Red Cross to help locate and reconnect her family.
After becoming separated from her siblings while escaping violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pascaline Maguvo turned to the Red Cross to help locate and reconnect her family.

To view the original, extended version of this post, please visit the American Red Cross Dallas Fort Worth blog.

I recently asked my friends what their 12-year-old daughters worried about. They answered hairstyles, clothing trends, boys and popularity. None of my friends said their 12-year old-daughters feared for their lives. For 12-year-old Pascaline Mavugo, this was a pressing concern for nearly six years.

Twenty years ago, during a time of great violence, Pascaline was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 2004, she and her two older siblings left for school, unaware of how their lives would change before nightfall. Their home, with four younger siblings inside, had been set on fire and their parents murdered. The three siblings fled and never returned.

For six years, they lived in the streets, until United States Immigration officials told them that they were headed for America. Pascaline came to live with her foster family in a suburb south of Fort Worth, Texas. After a while, her thoughts returned to the Congo. She never knew what happened to her younger four brothers. Had they died in the fire?

Hearing her story, the American Red Cross initiated a search that went from DFW to Africa. One year later, the Red Cross delivered the message that three of her siblings had survived and were living in a refugee camp in Uganda. Today, Pascaline talks to her brothers frequently.

For now, Pascaline lives with her American family, but she longs for the day when she can return to her real “home” and live peacefully. Let’s all hope for Pascaline that when she has a 12-year-old daughter of her own, her daughter’s biggest concerns will be hairstyles, clothing trends, boys and popularity. Girls should not have to worry about more than that.

Leave a Reply

We encourage you to comment on this blog. All viewpoints are welcome, but please be constructive. We reserve the right to make editorial decisions regarding submitted comments, including but not limited to removal of comments. The comments are moderated, so you may have to be a tiny bit patient in waiting to see them. We will review and post them as promptly as possible during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:30 - 5:30).