Posted By: Camila Orti
Each year, Union Bank selects ten deserving families to receive a Magic Moment for the holidays. The Mukuna's are the third lucky family to be chosen.
Their story is one of hope. A family of seven, the Mukuna's left the Congo three years ago to live a better life in the United States.
On Friday, they opened presents bought by Union Bank, including a computer, printer, and iPods for the kids.
Germaine, Christian and their five daughters immigrated from the Congo without knowing a word of English.
"The first week that I was here I wanted to go back home because it was hard for me to speak English," 19-year-old Murielle Mukuna said.
"I felt like I was starting over again," added her 17-year-old sister, Adora.
Adora says her parents left everything behind so that she and her sisters could have a better future. The two oldest girls, Christelle and Murielle, are currently in college on scholarships. Adora, Sabrina, and the youngest daughter, Christiana, are all attending Lincoln Public Schools.
"We came here because there are so many opportunities that we don't have in my country," Adora said.
Opportunities that are even slimmer for women, like free public education and a shot at getting a good job.
The family was nominated by their volunteer English tutor, Carolyn Gregorius.
"They inspire me, I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to move to another country but they did," Gregorius said. "It's very difficult to do and they're doing well."
But because of their language barrier, parents Christian and Germaine can only secure part-time jobs, making money tight.
"But they just keep moving forward and Germaine is always upbeat and positive and has a smile on her face," Gregorius said.
Gregorius explained it's that never-quit attitude that makes the Mukuna's deserving of a Magic Moment.
Channel 8 Eyewitness News is proud to partner with Union Bank to bring you Magic Moments.