Congo map

World Refugee Day 2020: A refugee’s journey from Congo

June 2020 · 2020 World Refugee Day, Migration Ministries, Ministry News

Saint Francis Migration Ministries asked refugees we worked with to share whatever details of their story they were comfortable sharing. A refugee, who preferred not to be named, shared the information below:

  • What is your country of origin? Please describe briefly why you had to leave.

           I’m from Congo. I left my Country because of many problems like war and violence.

  •  How long did you have to wait to travel to the United States before you were finally permitted to come?

Almost 20 years. In 1996 I went to Tanzania. Then in 2016 I came to US.

  • Did you spend time in a refugee camp? How long? Please describe the conditions and what life was like there. Share only those details which you feel comfortable sharing.

Yes, I spent time in a refugee camp for about 20 years. Is a hard life, when you leave your Country don’t have nothing and going to another Country you have to wait for assistance.

  • Do you still have family in your home of origin? Do you have family in the US?

Yes, I left one son that is in South Africa. No parents in Congo. All family is in US.

  • How long have now been in the United States? Do you feel like you are adjusting to this new culture and surroundings? What are some of the difficulties and challenges you are experiencing?

I’m been here in US for about 3 years. Sometimes I feel that I’m adjusting. When I just got here it was difficult. The main challenge is the language and the weather, then I got sick, I’m not working. I was not sick in Congo.

  • Has anything surprised you about life in the United States?

Yes, the cold weather in the winter and summer it’s very hot.

  • What would you like people born and raise in the United States to know most about what life is like for a refugee?

I can tell them that when you go to another Country you can’t do nothing because you’re a visitor, you start from zero when become a refugee. 

  • What are your hopes for the future?

If I’m not sick would like to go to work and buy a house so my children would know that’s their home.