‘Courageous’ mother of 4 in Canada less than a week before death outside of Mississauga shelter


Published February 27, 2024 at 4:02 pm

Delphina Ngigi kenya asylum death mississauga
Delphina Wambui Ngigi died on Feb. 18, 2024 after waiting outside of a shelter in Mississauga. (Photo: GoFundMe)

Family members of a mother of four who died just days after coming to Canada are grieving as they try to bring her body back to Kenya and pay back the loan she used to make the move.

Delphina Ngigi, a widow and mother of four from Kenya had only been in Canada for four days when she died after waiting outside of a Mississauga shelter.

Ngigi was the second refugee to die while waiting at the Dundas Shelter, with Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown saying Region of Peel shelters are nearing 400 per cent capacity.

Family members said Ngigi, who is being remembered as a “courageous loving mum,” landed in Toronto on Valentine’s Day.

“She was trying to find a way to make ends meet,” Ngigi’s brother-in-law Richard Wanjue told insauga.com, adding that her mother has been “devastated” by the news.

The asylum seeker from Kenya died just four days later, leaving behind four children and a family who are trying to navigate the costly process of having her body flown back to Kenya.

Wanjue said Ngigi also took out a loan to fund her new life in Canada, and now the family is left struggling to pay back lenders while trying to grieve the mother of four and bring her body home.

The family has seen their share of tragedies over the years, with Ngigi’s husband dying six years ago. Ngigi had to leave her job to take care of her father, who died last year, and Wanjue said she wasn’t able to find work after he passed.

That’s when she decided to come to Canada “to seek a better life,” find work and support her four children in Kenya.

Wanjue has started a fundraiser in hopes of securing enough money to have Ngigi’s next of kin flown to Canada so her body can be released, pay for her funeral expenses and help support her four orphaned children.

The GoFundMe campaign had raised just $1,005 of a $40,000 goal as of Tuesday afternoon.

And while Wanjue the family isn’t placing blame on the shelter for Ngigi’s death, he hopes her story will “shine a light on the plight of people trying to move away from places like Kenya” only to come to Canada “and not get the help they need.”

Ngigi is the second asylum seeker from an African country to die in Mississauga after Peel Regional Police said in November that a man in his 40s died in an encampment.

Following Ngigi’s death, the Rwandan Canadian Healing Centre issued a call for refugee organizations, faith groups, frontline service workers and health organizations to help support asylum seekers coming to Canada.

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