Last week I spoke with Cleophace Mukeba, a Congolese-American living in Vermont. In 2011, Mukeba founded an organization called the Vermont Ibutwa Initiative, dedicated to raising awareness of the situation in the DRC. Mukeba spoke to me about his experience arriving in Vermont and the struggle to adjust in an overwhelmingly foreign culture. “Everything is different,” he told me. “You have to adjust to the weather, learn how to shop, how to take a bath, how to get from one place to another, how to communicate.”
I will be writing more about the experience of Mukeba and other Congolese immigrants in Vermont in the coming weeks. For now, you can get a good introduction to Mukeba and his cause in this interview from Vermont’s Town Meeting Television channel.