Headshot of Jimmy smiling

What was it like moving from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to the refugee camp?

When I fled, people were running. We ran under helicopters that were shooting us, and there were so many bombs around. It was like hell.

My father was shot in the foot and became unable to run. He told me to keep running, and I had to leave him behind. I became separated from my family. It was bad. I was in a crowd of people and so many of them were crying and bleeding.

It was a wave of tears and blood.

A memory that I have is that I was thinking that there would be no tomorrow, and I was asking God, 

“If I live today, I want to work for you forever.”

And now, I am thanking the Lord that He has helped me. When I first fled my country, I had no hope of a tomorrow. This was a terrible time because I had no one with me. That was the first time I saw a dead person. I was very confused.

What did you do with your days in the camp?

The day I arrived was full of confusion. I had no plans of what to do because I was alone. No father, no mother, and not even my brothers. I was alone.

When I first arrived in Rwanda, I had not eaten in four days. I only had a place to sleep provided by the government of Rwanda. During that first week, I went to the Red Cross office in the camp to try to find my family. Miraculously, I found my younger brother, Wilson, through the Red Cross.

It was difficult to find food, but I would go to the bus station and help passengers carry their bags to get money to buy food. It was very difficult because I was only 11. 

What do you miss from the DRC?

I really miss Makayabo, it is a type of fish. Makayabo is a word from the language, Lingala, which is one of the 145 spoken in the DRC.

Three headshots of Jimmy

Describe how you felt when you first learned you were sponsored through Impact Hope.

When I first learned I was sponsored, I was very happy.

That day is among the happiest days that I have ever had in my life.

When I came to the camp, I had no hope, but then Impact Hope gave me a ray of hope. It felt so good to hear that someone was going to help me.

I am full of gratitude for my sponsor, as well as Impact Hope, and all the sponsors. You deserve much respect. I promise to work hard to make you all proud and to make sure that your support is not in vain.

What were you most excited about? 

What excited me the most was that I could go to a school to get skills and knowledge in order to get a job after I finished school. I hope that I will be able to contribute something to making the world a better place. When I think about this, it makes me excited for the future.

Impact Hope has taught me how to fish, instead of giving me a fish. When I first learned I was sponsored, I was very happy.

In the camp, I would only get food once a day, and sleeping was very difficult because I did not have a bed to sleep on. So, I was excited to go to a school where I could eat three times a day and sleep well.

What is your dream for your life?

When I was little, my dream was that if there was one language that I could speak and that all the nations of the world could understand, I would stand at the peak of the highest mountain and speak for helpless people: orphans, widows, and the oppressed.

I still have that dream, but I have added to it.

I want to work hard to go to university in order to be as strong as I can and to acquire skills to make me successful. I need your prayers and help to make this possible. My dream is to continue to develop myself, have a job and a family, and make money to help others as I have been helped.

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