Kenya: Escaping violence in Congo
28 July 2011

A group of refugee women during a prayer meeting facilitated by JRS in Nairobi. Many Congolese women have become victims of sexual violence prior to their flight but their culture does not allow them to speak out. Prayer can help them heal. (Angela Hellmuth/JRS)
Nairobi, 28 July 2011 – I am a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and I came to Kenya in 2009. 

When I think of my past, I smile and cry at the same time. I recall that very night when my family was attacked while I was at work, doing the night shift. 

Soldiers stormed our homestead and killed my mother and my sister. My wife had given birth two weeks ago but they did not spare her. They raped her and left her unconscious.  

They looked for me every where because they wanted to kill me but I was at work. 

The pastor from my church buried my mother and my sister and took my wife to the hospital. He also accommodated two of my children and my nephew who became an orphan that night. 

In the morning he called me and told me to see him before I go home. I was shocked when he told me what had happened the previous night. 

As soon as my wife had regained sufficient strength, we fled to Kenya to seek refuge.

JRS helped us to find a room where we could stay and they also gave us food because we had nothing at all.  

We also got some clothes, medication and cooking utensils. It was a great comfort to find good hearted people in exile who accompanied us and looked after us; I am grateful for that.