After fleeing ethnic persecution in Guinea, K. Arafan Koita was brutally attacked three years later while working as a livery driver in New York City.
Mr. Koita lost his vision in the attack, New York Times Reporter Corey Kilgannon reports in this just-published Neediest Case, but partly regained it after being hospitalized.
These days, Mr. Koita finds sporadic work delivering African art with a friend from Guinea, and hopes to get off public assistance so he can support and be a role model for his children, he said.
Left legally blind, he is haunted by a feeling of powerlessness when it comes to supporting his wife and three children.
Mr. Koita, who speaks French, also sought out the Catholic Charities Guild for the Blind, to improve his English, and for help resolving complications in getting social service benefits. He registered for computer training and for help finding a job.
The children share a tiny bedroom crowded with sagging beds that make sleeping uncomfortable, and the apartment has been without heat and hot water for two months. The landlord has been slow to respond, Mr. Koita said as he stood over a hot plate in the kitchen, where the family often heats large pots of water for bathing.
“I need to be strong,” he said. “For them.”
Read Mr. Koita’s full profile in The New York Times.
Help us help the Koita family and fellow courageous New Yorkers.