GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Even though it’s no longer her main address, Siddiga Ahmed still visits the neighborhood where she started a new chapter in her life.
“It’s so special because it is the first area that I get my own house,” she said.
In 2003, Ahmed and her husband received the keys to their Habitat for Humanity home in Greensboro.
Even after paying it off and buying another house, she welcomes immigrant families to live there as they save money for a home of their own.
“I decided to have this house to help other community members, so they can have the same opportunities that we have,” she said.
Ahmed came to Greensboro as a Sudanese immigrant in 1998. Her husband applied to the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. She was timid and afraid to be in a new country and didn’t know what to expect.
“The first year was very hard,” she said.
Ahmed eventually became comfortable, pursued an education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and found her voice as a social worker and community leader.
She has worked with Greensboro city leaders through the International Advisory Committee to bring attention to the needs of Triad immigrants and refugees.
Ahmed is in the process of starting a non-profit that addresses this group’s mental health needs.
“I am finalizing my paper to help not just refugees and immigrants, all underserved families,” she said.
Ahmed is proud of the woman she has become over the last 23 years.
“You can learn from your experience. You can improve yourself. Never stop. Never stop. If you have an opportunity, just take it,” she said.
Ahmed’s journey made a big impression on Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro.
She now serves on its board of directors.