When Muyambo Marcel Chishimba was referred to the Refugee Assistance Partners of New Jersey (RAP), he expected to be helped in his effort to navigate the government, housing and school systems in his new home of Elizabeth. What Chishimba did not expect was that RAP would be the organization to help jump start his career as an artist in the United States.
As a young man born and raised in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tshopher Kabambi dreamed of making movies. He is the director of “Heart of Africa”, the first Congolese-American production of its kind with a story that conveys Christian themes of brotherly love and overcoming prejudice.
Evodie Tshipamba is a recipient of Parkland’s Outstanding Black Student Award. Tshipamba, an electrical engineering major, was recognized by faculty and staff as an outstanding black student for her academic excellence and involvement in the community. She is one of seven students selected for this award. Tshipamba hails from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa, where she says sense of community is a bit different than it is in the U.S.
Until January, Merci Madilu and his older brother, Espoir, had spent most of their existence in a refugee camp in the landlocked Central African nation of Burundi, where they shared a one-room, mud-walled shelter with their mother and eight younger siblings.
Think about this: You are 14 or 15-years-old. You are moving to a new country, don’t know the language, the customs or culture of where you now live.
That’s where the International Rescue Committee in Tallahassee comes in to help.
In February, the group created it’s first literacy program. Now, 44 Congolese students and counting from grades 6 to 12, are not only learning English, but also ways to transition into American society.
Floribert Mubalama knows firsthand that it can be hard to find your footing when you transition to life in America as a refugee or immigrant. I met Mubalama through the Congolese Integration Network (CIN), an organization part of the growing group of partners supported by Communities of Opportunity to strengthen the connections that cultural groups have to their communities.
Mubalama courageously shared his story to help affirm that isolation is a common experience for many refugees and immigrants and that becoming involved with cultural community organizations can break that isolation and help people thrive emotionally and economically.
Congolese and Congolese-Americans living in America want to change the narrative around the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They’ve launched the inaugural Congolese Diaspora Impact Summit (CDIS), which will take place in New York City on September 21st; in the midst of the United Nations General Assembly.
The new president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) took office in January. Al Jazeera reported that his first message was one of reconciliation in the vast and diverse country located in sub-Saharan Africa.
Refugees living in Phoenix say Félix Tshisekedi, the new president, got more specific at the end of June, calling for an end to conflict in parts of eastern DRC. The area is home to people named Banyamulenge, an ethnic minority with Rwandan ancestry.
Jean Kapenda always hoped to help African Americans to find their African roots. That dream came true in a very personal way. Kapenda, a criminal justice professor at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, has been interested in genealogy and ancestry for a long time. A few years ago, he did a swab and sent it to a genetic testing site.
After getting the results, Kapenda, who is originally from Democratic Republic of Congo, has been able to trace hundreds of relatives in the Americas, most of them the descendents of people enslaved and sent on ships across the ocean.
Meet the new Miss African Roots 2019, Cindy Makita. Born and raised in South Africa, Cindy Makita has a Congolese heritage. She moved to Miami, Florida in 2014 to attend Florida International University. In 2018 she graduated Magna Cum Laude, as a Worlds Ahead Graduate and as an Honors student.
Miss African Roots is a unique, bi-annual pageant competition which promotes a sense of community, confidence, and pride for the motherland of Africa within the United States.
Marilyne Tatang, 23, crossed nine borders in two months to reach Mexico from the West African nation of Cameroon, fleeing political violence after police torched her house, she said.
She plans to soon take a bus north for four days and then cross a tenth border, into the United States. She is not alone – a record number of fellow Africans are flying to South America and then traversing thousands of miles of highway and a treacherous tropical rainforest to reach the United States.
They may be separated by language – Portuguese for Angolans, English for Rwandans, French for the Congolese – but all of Greater Portland’s African immigrant communities do share one means of communication: soccer. Or, as they are more likely to call it, football.
To welcome newly arrived asylum seekers, the Congolese Community of Maine teamed up with players from several other African countries for an afternoon of soccer in Portland’s East Bayside neighborhood.