Audio Recording of Interview
A refugee from Burundi who lived in the Zaire and Burkina Faso refugee camps, Ms. CK describes her journey in attempting to resettle in America and finding community and support through religious groups. She discusses the Burundian Civil war, losing family members, the impact of 9/11 on the resettlement process, and the challenge of learning English after resettlement.
Other interviews of this person can be found below:
Narrator: Ms. CK
Location: New Jersey
Content Warning: Brief mentions of genocide, murder, rape, and the incident of 9/11.
Summary: A refugee from Burundi who lived in the Zaire and Burkina Faso refugee camps, Ms. CK describes her journey in attempting to resettle in America and finding community and support through religious groups. She discusses the Burundian Civil war, losing family members, the impact of 9/11 on the resettlement process, and the challenge of learning English after resettlement.
Topics: Civil War, Genocide/Murder, Nonprofit Organization, Rape, Resettlement, 9/11, Joy, Religion, Pandemic, Politics, Career, Family, Driving.
Section 1: 0:01-7:04
Civil War: A war between the Hutsi and Tutsi tribes in Burundi. CK was a Tutsi, which is the minority group and they were being persecuted.
Genocide: All of the adult men in her village were taken and shot/killed. Her and the res of the women decided to flee from their village with the children and go to a refugee camp in Zaire.
Section 2: 7:05-12:19
Rape: People from outside the camp would come and rape the residents so she moved to a refugee camp in Burkin Faso.
Resettlement Process: People had to fill out papers, and if they were selected they could go to either America or Canada. 4 or 5 years passed, and out of 2000 people, only two families were selected for resettlement, including hers.
Joy: Dancing and cheering out of happiness for being selected for resettlement.
9/11: She had to wait another three years to come to America because of 9/11.
Section 3: 12:20-15:23
Religion: After being able to come to America in 2004, members of a Lutheran Church picked her up.
Joy and Language: One of the custodians who picked her up was able to speak French, a language she could speak, so she was so happy. Also, everyone greeted her and her son very warmly.
Section 4: 15:24-18:32
Religion: When she was in Burundi, she identified religiously as Catholic. She went to church in Burundi and Burkin Faso. When coming to the States, she became a member of the Lutheran Church.
Section 5: 18:33-21:44
Pandemic: The pandmeic introduced a lot of safety precautions in the church and in the school she taught at.
Politics: She does not see herself as a political person.
Section 6: 21:45-25:01
Language: Tring to undertsand and learn Englsih was the hardest thing in her sixteen years in the United States.
Section 7: 25:02-35:12
Family: Her parents were killed in the war that started in 1993, but all of her siblings survived with the exception of her oldest sister. She saw her family again in 2014 after earning U.S. citizenship and saving money to travel.
Religion: The custodian who was able to speak French searched for her family and found her siblings. Also, the church community welcomed her warmly and helped her adjust to life in America.
Driving: Got in an accident the first time she tried dirving, but didn’t let fear stop her. So she took the drivers test twice, and passed the second time.