My name is Lwendo. I was born at Makobola village, Fizi territory in south Kivu province, in Democratic Republic of the Congo. My mother’s name is Zamda. She currently lives in Nyarugsu refugee camp in Tanzania with her husband Chishibanji and us, her kids, who now number five. I am 23 years old holding a certificate in informatics awarded to me at Amani secondary school in the camp.
My tragic journey begins in 1999 in our village Makobola where I first attended my primary school. In our school, during break time, we used to play with fellow students in schoolyard. One Saturday morning while I was doing a play on the school grounds, I saw tons of people running away and crying in despair. I saw the entire sky filled with black dusts with sparks of fire caused by gunshots. Armed groups invaded our small village early Saturday morning to cruelly shoot on a number of people with zero tolerance. Every one of you, I trust, should know that women and children were the most affected population during that situation. Of course, women and children were the ones treated like cripples, like nothing.
During the invasion, it was dangerous for villagers who had tried to leave their houses to escape that morning because the rebels had already have encircled our entire village. They meant to carry out a mass killing. I remember when I watched our own houses burn, girls and women raped, and others killed; there was no exception of boys who were abducted and forced to be child soldiers. The report by the Congolese government testifies that "a considerable of people, including women, men, children, and old people have lost their lives in one day, something which ranked Makobola village as one of the first war affected area in Fizi territory” followed by the village of Kazumba where such a mass killing occurred again.
It would be a long story to tell you all about when, in the middle of the night, my father knocked at the school door where I was and saved me. I am lucky that we successfully climbed a high fence on the school border with my parents before we joined our family members. After judging the situation, my parents decided to flee with me in Tanzania. We then travelled through a small boat crossing the Lake Tanganyika till we reached the Kigoma province in Tanzania. Therefore afterwards, we have been hosted in the largest, overcrowded area known as Nyarugusu refugee camp where we are currently.