Building a future with those who once became hopeless

21 April 2024

pacific jrs kenya
Pacific at JRS Nairobi compound. “I’ve seen people helping me as a refugee, so my dream now is to become a Humanitarian worker, and be able to help the others as JRS has been helping me all these years.”

Interview with Pacific, a beneficiary at JRS Kenya, who overcoming tortures and suffering is now able to see the brightness in life.

Pacific is a young Congolese natural form Goma (DRC). He came to Kenya ends 2013 running away from insecurity. He has been benefiting from JRS in Nairobi since 2014 running from war and tortures, and he is willing to share with us his story.

I came alone. I used car as a mean of transport to arrive. I registered to UNHCR and got my mandate and refugee ID.

Pacific was a student leader at his University back in DRC. During the scalations of tension the rebels from M23 movement occupied his town, Goma, for two weeks.

One early morning, while going back home from work, Pacific was abducted by the rebels. Him and other 9 university students were reunited to ask them to support the cause and help the rebels get more students to do so. Pacific denied to do so.
He was brought back home and few days after international troops backing the government threatened to occupy the city. Consequently, the rebels left.

Some of the marks left on his skin from the ropes used to tight him for days.
Some of the marks left on his skin from the ropes used to tight him for days.

Governmental forces, who came to know about the above mentioned meeting with the students’ leaders, abducted them again and kept them in captivity for days…

Not having been able to see the light, Pacific is not able to say how long was he imprisoned.

Still today he has some marks all over his body, result of the tortures he went through.
Suffering from tortures, he was being asked to give information about the M23… information he did not have.

Thanks to one family friend who worked with the Government forces, Pacific was secretly liberated and ran directly to Rwanda, where he was receiving medical care for 3 months.

When he felt strong enough to continue his journey, ends 2013, he flew to Nairobi, where he registered in UNHCR for resettlement and started receiving support of JRS.

When I arrived here I had nowhere to stay. I stayed with a friend and he led me to JRS. JRS was giving me food, clothes… JRS was always by my side.

They were also providing me counselling, because I was traumatized, I had no hope, I had so many shocks… so they were offering me counselling helping me to get out of that situation.

Pacific and other Tertiary Education Scholarship beneficiaries on a support and guidance meeting with JRS staff.
Pacific and other Tertiary Education Scholarship beneficiaries on a support and guidance meeting with JRS staff.

I did my first degree in Congo. But since t’s a different system (it’s a French system and Kenya has an English system) my degree was not useful. So JRS decided to give me that opportunity to add something on my knowledge and I decided to do a Bachelor Degree in International Studies, which is ongoing.

As a refugee in Nairobi we encounter so many challenges… specially the cost of living, it’s high. Even for the citizens. Living in a country where you have no permanent job nor any source of income… paying house rent is the major challenge. You can spend one night without eating… but housing is so challenging…

You just stay there… as a refugee you cannot apply for a job and be selected, regardless of your knowledge, or qualifications.

In the future… I had so many dreams… but since I became a refugee, I came here to Kenya and I saw so many people helping each-other, I decided I want to become a humanitarian person, who will help other people.

I pray God to grant me grace in life so that I might also become someone to help others…. So becoming a humanitarian worker, that is my dream.

I might go anywhere where there is problem, disasters, wars, and be able to intervene in the way I am able to assist. So that is what I pray for, because I’ve been witnessing other people helping me. So now I got that spirit: I’m willing also to help. Yeah, that is my dream.

Regardless of whatever people go through, just believe in yourself, and see that everything is still possible, and you can still achieve whatever you like, as long as you’re alive.

I’m really grateful and I will never stop being grateful. Specially the scholarship I got is like a miracle, cause through that I am confident that if I finish my studies, I will become myself and do something I am proud of

So, I pray that JRS might continue being blessed and having this spirit of helping others. I promise to JRS I will never left them. The love they showed me has been too much, and I feel like having to continue with this same kindness that they are showing to me and spread to my community and other people who are hopeless

So, be blessed JRS, and thank you!