Koffi from Chicago, IL

Laptop so my daughter can be the first in our family to attend university

My family and I fled to the US and we got asylum. Now I work 72 hrs/week, but still can't afford a laptop for my oldest daughter to apply to college.


Photo of Koffi receiving the computer Apr 4, 2013

Thank you from Koffi: Dec 11, 2012

I would like to thank the people that helped me very, very, very much. I wasn't expecting this, and was very surprised!! My daughter has been waiting for this for a long time, and I had promised her this from a long time ago. I had no idea I would actually be able to give her this so soon. Thank you so very, very, very much and I hope to be able to help someone someday soon as well.

Thank you from Elizabeth: Dec 11, 2012

Thank you all so much for your donations to help Koffi! We're thrilled to see that his need was met so quickly. We were honestly so taken aback that so many people have been so generous and we really cannot thank you enough. I am excited to see how this laptop will benefit his family, and especially his daughter.


My current situation is that I need a laptop for my family. My wife and I have 6 children, 5 of which are under 18. My oldest daughter wants to apply for college and we want to help her have the best opportunities available. My situation is difficult because I am the only one working to support my family and my oldest son who has a severe developmental disability. My wife cannot work, because she has to stay home and take care of my son and the other children after school.

I fled to the US from Togo in May 2007 and I got asylum in June 2009. I worked hard to bring my family here to be with me and I now, even more than before, I want to work hard to ensure that all of their needs are met. I am working 72 hours a week now, and sometimes more. Because I am a taxi driver, business is not consistent and sometimes I stay outside working for 36 hours straight. Even with all of this work, I still am not able to make enough money to give my family everything they need. I feel responsible to make sure that my children's needs are met and I especially want to help my oldest daughter applying for colleges by getting this laptop. She has proven to be so smart and has amazing potential and I know she will go far. I want to help in every way possible and I thank you all for your support.

Meeting this need will help me because it will give my oldest daughter the opportunity to be independent and complete college applications. In addition, the younger children will also be able to use it for school and papers. My wife will also be able to use it to look for resources for my oldest son and in the future find a job.

Meeting this need will help me achieve future goals because it will help my daughter be the first in our family to go to school. She is very smart and I believe that she has the ability to succeed and do great things and this will be a very useful tool to help her here in the US.

I arrived to the US from Togo 5 years ago and my family joined me almost 1 year ago. It has been difficult to support them and teach my children English, but they have persevered and I believe that they are doing very well here in the US. Having a laptop will give us the tools to succeed here and have a prosperous life. I want the best for my children and believe that having a laptop is one step to helping them.

Right now, my biggest challenge is financial. I have to work to support 8 people and my oldest son has many needs, including needing 24 hour care and toileting and shower assistance. It is very difficult to make ends meet and I want to give my daughter the opportunity to be the first in our family to attend university.

My children need a laptop and Microsoft Office suite for school, including my daughter who needs to work on her college applications.

I'm most proud of bringing my family here to the United States and helping them learn English. I am proud of the fact that my children now have the opportunity to be better and have a great life here.

I think of myself mostly as a father. I have a 19 year old son, 17 year old daughter, 12 year old son, 10 year old son, 8 year old daughter, and 6 year old son. My wife stays at home with the children. They all came to the US in January 2012 and none of them spoke English. I have taken time out of my work to help them learn English and do well in school.

I live in a rented house with my wife and 6 children.

I went to High School in Togo, West Africa.

I've worked at jobs including taxi driver in Chicago and cosmetologist in Togo.

Something interesting about me is I became fluent in English in less than 2 years.

Need funded!

Thank you for helping Koffi fund this need.

$500of $500

Need funded!

8 supporters


This need has been validated by Elizabeth from Heartland Alliance

Recent supporters

  1. $50
  2. $25
  3. $25
  4. $25
  5. $25
  6. $340


Validated by Elizabeth from Heartland Alliance (What does this mean?)

I have known Koffi and his family since January 2012 when he came into our office to access services. His family followed him to the US in January and we helped enroll his children in school, and his oldest son in medical case management.

I think meeting this need is important because Koffi is one of the hardest working people I know. He and his family are resilient and have been through so much. I am proud of how hard Koffi has worked to bring his family here and help them transition to life in the US. Meeting this need will be a great boost and help them move forward.

This will move Koffi's life forward by helping his oldest daughter apply for college. She would be the first generation to attend college, and Koffi is excited to help her achieve this goal.

Koffi has a great sense of humor and is so sweet. He is so good with his family and he is working so hard to create an amazing life for them. He has learned English fluently and was able to teach his whole family English in 9 months!

About Elizabeth

My job title is Medical Case Manager. I have been in this position since September 2011. My work involves assisting newly arrived refugees and asylees navigate the U.S healthcare system. I take participants to doctor's appointments and ensure they get appropriate translation/interpretation. I… Read more