Stories of Welcome: Congolese refugees are embraced by their new community in Boise, Idaho

By International Rescue Committee

Jacqueline Uwumeremyi fled from the Democratic Republic of Congo to South Africa because of violence. After facing constant xenophobia because of her refugee status, she and her five children were finally resettled in Boise, Idaho, in 2018.

There she was warmly embraced by local church members and other neighbors, including her close friends Pastor Jenny Hirst and neighbor Chris Johnson.

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Watch as the three talk about their first encounters and what they continue to gain from their deepening friendship. 

In another story, Christelle is also a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, is an aspiring actress and model, a college student, and a resettlement assistant at the IRC, helping other refugees start their new lives.

She is also a cherished friend to some of the first people who welcomed her to Boise, including Janna Brown, 29, and Charlee Andree, 16.

Watch as the three talk about how their friendship has changed their lives for the better.

The IRC’s “Stories of Welcome” series showcases the growing bonds between refugees and their new American friends.


But even as these transformative friendships are taking root, the Trump Administration has shut the door on refugees and is threatening America’s legacy of welcome. 

Watch more of these moving stories and learn how you can take action

Read and watch from source International Rescue Center