Christmas Fund: Father had to leave his family to build a better life for them

Obi left his home in Nigeria to go to the United States for school and is now starting over in Montreal.

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To one day provide a better life for his wife and children, Obi had to leave them behind.

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She first left her home in Nigeria to go to the United States to go to school and is now starting over in Montreal, working intermittently and trying to build a life so she can reunite with her three children.

“I wanted a better life for myself. I wanted something better for my sons and my daughter, ”Obi said. “I want to survive.”

Leaving his teenage children has affected Obi a lot. You talk to them on the phone whenever you can, but it’s not the same as being there. Throughout his lonely journey to the US and finally to his new home, the thought of giving his children a new chance in North America has fueled him at every stop. But he has missed years of them growing up and it is something no parent wants to put up with.

When there is work available, he accepts it, but it is not consistent or reliable at all, he says. He’ll be spending Christmas alone, which is nothing new to him, but he’ll keep an eye on his phone in case someone calls to ask for overtime at odd jobs in his current rotation. He’s used to hard work hours and will never say no to helping out when others go on vacation with their families.

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“I’ll be alone this Christmas,” Obi said. “If I get a job, I will work. But right now I don’t know, and I never know what will happen next. “

The idea of ​​a separate family vacation is difficult for anyone, but it’s also a reminder to Obi of the danger he left behind and that all his hard work isn’t just for him.

“I can’t wait to bring you here,” Obi said. “That’s why I left, that’s why I did.”


This article is representative of the people your donations are helping. Due to resource limitations and privacy restrictions, the Montreal Gazette cannot accept non-monetary contributions. Donations to the Christmas Fund can be made exclusively online at Please direct all your inquiries to [email protected]

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