Tuesday, September 17, 2019, Kubuya Lukambo was one of the two that spoke, as part of the “Welcoming Week” at media conference by central Ohio social services agencies, on their experiences as refugees, journey to America, life in America and expectations.
They both passionately appealed for increase in the number of refugee admissions for 2020. (Few days later 18,000 was approved for 2020, far less their expectations of 93,000).
New Americans magazine spoke with Kubuya Lukambo, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa who entered an airplane for the first time on his journey to the United States on a Tuesday, August 25, 2015.
“The journey was not easy; everything was new to me as it was my first time to fly in an airplane,” Kubuya said.
Married with five children, Kubuya was resettled in the US by Us Together Social Service where he works currently as a Case Manager, managing the resettlement and integration of other refugees and immigrants.
According to him, “I was welcomed by US Together agency, with good staff that care for people. It helped me to get the required documents and at the end Us Together gave me a job.”
However, the first test as a refugee in America came in just two months, “only two months in USA my daughter was kidnapped, and I felt so bad.” With the help of the police, the daughter was found and his car that was stolen during the kidnap was also found later.
”Being considered for resettlement is not a simple decision, the people coming have serious issues, need help and hope of survival.”
Four years on in America and working as a Case Manager, Kubuya describes it “like miracle to get this job because I was still new but confident and having the passion of working with refugees. It was easier for me to navigate the system.”
Not content with being the only one enjoying the better opportunities outside the refugee camp, Kubuya appealed to the US government by, “calling upon the new Administration to increase the number of people as many of them were already on the line and just waiting for their flights. Being considered for resettlement is not a simple decision, the people coming have serious issues, need help and hope of survival.”
He described Ohio as, “a nice state but still need more people considering the development of the state. It needs many people to come in as the economy has grown in these past years.”
Echoing the World Refugee Day 2011 theme of the UNHCR, Kubuya said, “one refugee without hope is too many.”