MSUM Gambian Student Looking to Stay in U.S.

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For Minnesota State University Moorhead student Kaddy Suso, education is a top priority.

"Being in school is all that I live for, its all that I have," Suso said.

She dreams of one day being a doctor, but coming from Gambia her parents have a different plan: an arranged marriage. Her uncle has sponsored her education, but her parents convinced him to stop the funding so she can return to Gambia and get married.

"My family has actually decided a long time ago that I should get married. My youngest sisters, two of them, are married. At the age of 16 and 17 they got married. At 23 not being married in my community means a big taboo for us," Suso said.

If she returns to Gambia, she would be forced to undergo genital mutilation, a practice that has been outlawed; but her professors are standing beside her, stepping up to keep her here. Professor Brian Wisenden started a Go Fund Me page to help Suso pay her outstanding fees and future costs to stay at MSUM.

"Its heart breaking, listening to this person with great intentions and great potential to be kinda trapped in this impossible situation, Wisenden said."

"Someone, like him, being able to do such a thing for me, I can't pay him back. The only thing I can say is thank you," Suso said.

Suso is seeking asylum in the U.S. and meeting with a lawyer, so she can live her life differently than her sisters.

"Going back to Gambia, I think dying would be better than going back because I don't want to go through it, not just the genital mutilation, but marrying someone you don't know, you don't care about, and just met for the first time and going through those traditions, it's really crazy.

So far 5,535 dollars has been donated. If you would like to donate, click on the link in the article.