Honoring World Refugee Day In Greensboro

Posted on June 19, 2018

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Fellow Congolese youth at Legacy Crossing

On June 20, the world commemorates the strength, courage, and resilience of millions of refugees. Globally, nationally and locally, we recognize the day by celebrating cultures, sampling multiethnic food, and embracing our common humanity. This year, in Greensboro, NC events will be more subdued. It is difficult to celebrate in the wake of a still very recent tragedy where five young Congolese children lost their lives in an apartment fire. Ages 18 months to 8 years old, these children were taken from this earth prematurely despite their parents’ determination to provide them with the opportunity for a better life.

The oldest daughter, Roy Hope, was named as a result of her parents unyielding faith and belief that they would one day have a better life in the U.S. The baby, Trump Emmanuel, was named after the current president, their gratitude for being given the chance to resettle. Lisa Josiane (7) was a girl scout, Christopher Danny (5) wanted to be a truck driver, and Joshua John (3) loved to follow his two older sisters.

The family has received tremendous support locally and nationally.  There was a large turn out (at least 500 attendees) for their homegoing service May 26, 2018.  Many Congolese across the nation – Arizona, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky and California (to name a few states) attended the service to display their love and support. The ongoing journey for both the family and the broader community will continue to be long as this loss reverberates over their lives.

Coupled with ongoing events nationally and globally, on this symbolic day, we must do better. We must honor the lives of these children cut short by advocating for safe and affordable housing solutions for all and we must promote open and safe migration for those fleeing war, conflict, and violence.

Holly C. Sienkiewicz, DrPH
Director, CNNC

See CNNC Director Emeritus’, Raleigh Bailey, on World Refugee Day globally.

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