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The Lucky Ones: African Refugees' Stories of Extraordinary Courage

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The Lucky Ones: African Refugees' Stories of Extraordinary Courage, winner of the Winnipeg Public Library's On The Same Page Book Award (described as a book every Manitoban should read) presents a collection of personal accounts of heartbreaking loss, and the resilience needed to begin again in a new country. Craig and Marc Kielburger founders of the WE movement recommend it as summer reading to broaden perspectives (London Free Press June 15, 2018). 

Candidly told in their own words, the subjects reveal the uplifting truth of their unbreakable human spirit. A wide assortment of men and women ranging in age from four to seventy-three represent a variety of African countries and backgrounds. Their compelling stories span from experiences in their African birth countries to their new home in Manitoba. These inspiring insights challenge assumptions and encourage understanding. All author proceeds from the sale of this book will go to micro-lending opportunities and post-secondary bursaries for the African community of Manitoba. Visit the Philanthropy page of this website for further details. 

I had to put aside my memories in order to integrate. I realized living a meaningful life in the present would be my only chance to be part of mainstream society.
— Seid (Ethiopia)
You never get to know people until you interact personally -we presume people are all the same. 
— Chris (Liberia)

Continues to impact readers

The reader response since the book was published has been amazing. Readers enthusiastically say that the stories touch them, teach them and matter to them. Canadians say the book makes them appreciate Canada and feel proud and grateful. Cancer patients and widows say that what the refugees have endured helps them find the inner strength to continue when their lives are toughest. Teachers say that they effectively use the book as a teaching tool about prejudice, social justice, racism, and world issues. Most powerfully though, female inmates (mostly young and Aboriginal)  have told me that the book touched them, made them cry and gave them hope. They say they "didn't know people lived this way". Repeatedly the response to the stories is gratitude. My deepest thanks to the book's subjects.

Our lives make no sense if we are not helping others.
— Muuxi (Somalia)
To be a refugee is to be powerless—you leave your home, you leave your property, you leave your friends and relatives, and you go alone.
— Azarias (Rwanda)

Thank You

Thank you to the Winnipeg Foundation for valuing these stories and honouring them by funding the distribution of The Lucky Ones in school and public libraries in Winnipeg. 

All photography for The Lucky Ones by Keith Levit Photography. Copyright 2013, Anne Mahon. All rights reserved.

Thank you to Michael Rodgers for photography from the Winnipeg launch.