congolese refugees

The African Union’s response to Trump’s immigration ban made me laugh because so many African countries kicked out Congolese refugees out of their countries and the African Union didn’t do shit. It’s all mad mad mad

Macbeth in the DRC

In this re-creation, a group of Congolese refugees has stumbled upon a trunk filled with sheet music, costumes and gramophone recordings of Verdi’s Macbeth. This theatrical paraphernalia is the catalyst for a dramatic re-telling of Shakespeare’s tale of greed, tyranny and remorse, with the Macbeths as warlords, the three witches as double-crossing businessmen and Dunsinane as the Great Lakes region of Central Africa.

War rages over access to mineral resources.

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Congolese nun Sister Angélique Namaika

Angélique Namaika is a Roman Catholic Augustine Sisters of Dungu and Doruma nun from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Sister Angélique has been working in the Congo since 2008 to assist women and girls who have been abused by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). She is the 2013 recipient of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Nansen Refugee Award for her work with Congolese refugee women. Her Centre for Reintegration and Development is locate in Dungu, Orientale Province in the northeast of the DRC. Dungu has been the center for international humanitarian efforts for women and children who have been displaced by violence and war in the area.

Interview

Community

When the baby stops breathing I feel the stone harden heavy in my chest.

I am not there, but on the phone I expel quick words and urgent instructions.

I feel the fear clutch.

Not again.

A thousand unanswered questions.

A hundred expectant dreams.

Not yet fulfilled. 

But I dream still.

I say the words, “speak life,” as a prayer. I throw my faith on the line and ask God to answer. My heart begs Him.

Not this time.

I hope.

And hope is the scariest word of all.

When the word comes back, it is empty. The air leaves flat with a sob.

Sometimes we can only be Mary. Look straight into His eyes and bury the wonderings into His scarred chest. Heart sore, but leaning. I don’t hide how I feel from Him.

If you had been here….

The baby does not live. Body too twisted.

I close my eyes and see him in heaven with perfect legs.

The baby does not live. Here.

But Zabibu does.

The five year old sister, too sick to move. The mother too poor to take her to the doctor. Too proud maybe to ask for help.

We rush her to the hospital. Doors open and heaven sees us amongst the mass of people waiting to be saved.

The women huddle together, gather courage, and hold hands through the ache. Like tiny birds they offer each other shelter.

And I think, this is what love looks like.

Like shelter.

Zabibu grows healthy.

Her Muslim father sees the way the women take turns to offer an embrace, food, comfort.

Like Jesus.

A community who does not run from pain.

A miracle in the mess. 

Somewhere all of us under the shadow of His wing.

Somewhere the stone becomes a seed

and we dream

resurrection.

 

theguardian.com
South Africa's victims of xenophobia: 'We are not rebels. We are refugees' – video
Two refugees, Congolese Alex and Burundian Emile, describe the trauma that led them to come to South Africa and their rejection by the community there
By Charlie Phillips

Nearly 300 foreign nationals were killed in South Africa between 2008 and 2015 in a wave of xenophobic violence. Two refugees, Congolese Alex and Burundian Emile, describe the trauma that led them to come to South Africa, their rejection by the community in KwaZulu Natal, and life in the refugee camps. When the government closes the Chatsworth temporary shelter, they have to decide whether to stay in South Africa

• WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE

youtube

TW: war, death

On Aug. 13, 2004, more than 150 Congolese refugees were slaughtered in a brutal massacre at the Gatumba Refugee Camp in Burundi. Ten years later survivors are rebuilding their lives in the U.S. and using their newfound freedom of speech to advocate for an end to the cycle of violence in the region.