Updated: Mar 8, 2019
By Franklin Kyomugisa
Since the massive resettlement from Kyangwali Refugee camp in the late 2012, many families from this refugee camp and other camps from Uganda, Rwanda, South African urban areas, Namibia and Kenya have been able to begin a new life in the U.S and Canada. After their arrival in the western Hemisphere, most families have stressed the need to unite themselves especially because of the demanding economy where everyone is struggling to cope with stress and loneliness. Another reason for this urge for unity is the worry of dying and not being able to raise money for the final life expenses which can be resolved if the individuals belong to an organised community of the “diaspora refugees” or other forms of organised immigrants from Africa.
These new communities of Africans in the U.S and Canada have also produced a solitary minority of young leaders and also elders who are constantly struggling to champion the need for this unity. Some of these young leaders include Donald Mahanga, Werreje Elias, Ushu Mukelo, Clementina Niyizibyose to mention a few. We also have elders involved and they include a prominent business tycoon of Kasonga, Mr. Gracien Munyazikwiye, Pastor Gakuru John of Canada, Madam Gahima Zawadi, Dr. Francine Arajabu and many more.
Mr. Gracien who currently resides in Michigan is the president of the majority Congolese refugee community of Michigandas, who are united for a common goal of assisting each other in times of challenges while Pastor Bukuru is involved in many projects in Ontario that relate to the well-being of the resettled refugees in this part of Canada. Dr. Francine who is advancing her medical career in the state of New York is also the founder of True Love , a majority women group also founded on the principle of togetherness and knowing the well-being of the refugees in the U.S. In her interaction with KyaNews, she cited that many families are desperate after arriving in the U.S and that they feel so lonely, something she thought needs to be checked by the members of the resettled refugee families themselves.
Besides the above, KyaNews spoke to a respected community builder and organizer but also the former Secretary General of the Community International Youth Organisation to Transform Africa (CIYOTA), Mr. Daniel Muhwezi Gashumba who revealed to us that him and other persons that include Pastor Gakuru are involved in preparing for a conference of refugee leaders’ from the U.S and Canada. Mr. Gashumba said that they are meeting leaders of the refugee families from various states in the U.S and Canada clarifying that the goal is to create an organisation of people from the Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. When asked why this region would be the main focus in selecting these leaders, he said it’s because majority of refugees are from North Kivu, South Kivu, Maniema and the surrounding places which are the areas that have been heavily affected by the wars and that people from these places, unlike those from other regions of the country, need to be organised under on organisation that will help to address their concerns as a whole as compared to the satellite community groups that are scattered without cooperation.
Mr. Gashumba, very confident, also said that the arrangement for the conference is underway and that he is sure the leaders will all meet for this great moment come April 19 this year. The refugee community leaders from Kivu will be meeting in the city of Waterloo, Ontario- Canada. Among other things, he also warned the youth and elders who are inspiring leaders in these communities to avoid acts that would discredit them by obeying the law in both Canada and the U.S. He said, “ You can’t be a leader if you are doing wrong things in your community”. Some young people who happen to portray some leadership skills are often compromised to doing things that are not and never accepted in the society, something that may threaten the future of leadership for refugee families in these two countries. Other things regarding this conference may be regarded as classified and KyaNews will actually send Ushu Mukelo to join the team in Canada and we will be bringing you details from the conference, come 19th April.
Kyangwali News Team