My name is Isaac Mwenebatu, a 23 years old Congolese refugee currently residing in Nyarugusu camp, Tanzania. I escaped violence back in 1996 in DRC and fled to Tanzania with my parents due to fear of persecution. The year 1996 is extremely historically significant and full of bad memories in my life, especially memories from when I was in the South Kivu province where I was living when the war broke out and is still ongoing. Why is 1996 a historical year? The reason lies in the mass killing cruelties that occurred in different regions of South Kivu. All were persecuted including children, young people, parents, old people, men and women. Women were forced to give birth and then killed. Sons were obliged to sleep with their mothers and sexually abuse young girls. This is extreme cruelty!
People had to sleep under the moon and eat unsafe food in order to survive. This kind of cruelty, from which we fled, is still observed here in the Nyarugusu camp in different ways. We are given a weekly ration to cover a whole month. Health services are inadequate. The only illnesses being treated are headache, wounds and other related pains of body. Apart from that a patient’s only hope is to pray to God without ceasing so as to get transferred to a good hospital out of the camp. This the reason behind the extreme rate of death of refugees.
Educational services are underrated. People do not go further than getting their six certificates. This causes a lack of professionals and high skilled people in our community. In fact, I have spent almost a half of my life time as a refugee due to the ongoing insecurity and the war that broke my home country, which is engraved as bad memory in my mind something which could not happen to the next generation any more.
I am much grateful to RYENET network which helps me share with the people around the world about Education. Through this network, I hope that the great majority of young people around the world who will join will know enough about the real and difficult life of refugees and challenges they are facing.
Therefore, I hope we as young refugees, especially those who are in the RYNET, can understand the challenges and struggles young people are going through. I believe in fruitful outcomes and a change of attitude and way of thinking.