Grant Gloria a Visa to Get an Education #LetGloriaLearn
This petition had 143,771 supporters
In 2014, my family and I made the decision to leave our home in Indiana and move to Uganda for 7 months as volunteers at one of the country’s many orphanages. There are over 2.5 million orphans in Uganda, and we wanted to do what we could to help. That is where we met Gloria.
Alone since the age of 7, she had been living in the orphanage for half her life. Her story is tragic, but not uncommon in her home country. Gloria’s mother was brutally murdered by the Lord’s Resistance Army when she was only 3, and her father passed four years later.
When my family and I met her, we were immediately struck by her passion for education, and her deep desire to become a midwife and to help other young women in her home country. But as a young orphan girl in Uganda, her options for schooling were scarce and her chance to see that future was uncertain. That was when we made the decision to help ensure that Gloria could get the education she would need in order to achieve her dreams.
The pieces all began to fall into place: Gloria was able to secure acceptance at the International School of Indiana, and I applied to sponsor her F1 student visa. My family and I also agreed to cover any additional costs for her stay and studies in the U.S. Gloria was so excited, and we spoke often of her future and how much she could help her community when she returned with a diploma.
But then we learned the devastating news that the U.S. government had denied Gloria’s visa. Shockingly, we were told that her visa was denied because, as an orphan, the government claimed she did not have enough ties in Uganda to ensure her return.
This young woman who wants so desperately to learn and use her education to make her country a better place is the best example of what humanity should strive for -- she should not be denied her future simply because she is an orphan.
My family, the orphanage where Gloria lives in Uganda, and Gloria herself are all dedicated to following the letter of the law, and Gloria is committed to returning to Uganda when she completes her studies. All we want is to ensure that she has the same opportunity for a high quality education as our own children have, and that she can then use it to create a brighter future for herself and her community.
Denying Gloria this opportunity, precisely because she is an orphan, is not what we should stand for as a country. Now more than ever, we need to empower and give girls like Gloria the chance at a better future.
Unfortunately, the government has already denied our appeal, again citing Gloria’s lack of family ties. The only path forward would be for the State Department to consider a new visa application, and to accept it this time.
The decision to help one girl can impact many more. Now more than ever, we need to make great educations accessible for everyone. Please join us in pushing for the State Department to Let Gloria Learn.
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