Congolese Cooking – Finally!

Ever since I started writing about the Congolese-American immigrant experience in January, I’ve been on the lookout for a good food story – nothing captures the spirit of a culture like good cooking.

So I was happy to stumble across an article in the Portland Phoenix about Yarmouth’s Ariane Kambu Mbenza and her gaufres, bite-sized cookies made on a waffle iron.

Read the original article on the Portland Phoenix’s website and get Mbenza’s recipe at ImmigrantKitchens.com.

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Do you have a story about Congolese American food in New England? Do you know of a cafe or restaurant that serves Congolese food? Contact me here

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New Haven Works to Welcome Refugee Family from DRC

Check out this fantastic profile of a Congolese refugee family in Connecticut , written by Rachel Chinapen of the New Haven Register.

Chinapen’s story captures the struggles of both this family of ten as well as the agencies and organizations responsible for their resettlement. New Haven’s Integrated Refugee and Immigration Services (IRIS), who were tasked with resettling the family, had only five days to prepare for the family’s arrival.

Click the headline below to read the story in its entirety.
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UNHCR to Build New Refugee Camp in Burundi

In May, the UNHCR reported that it will open a new refugee camp in Burundi in order to accomodate the arrival of new refugees fleeing the DRC.

The camp, the fourth in Burundi, will serve up to 13,000 people.

UNHCR has built the camp for a cost of US $2.5 million, and includes a school, health center, and water supply system, reports an article in AfriqueJet.

The refugee I profiled in April, Issa, lived in the Nyarugusu refugee camp in western Burundi for nine years. While in the camp, which held a population of 60,000, Issa worked many jobs, including that of a fisherman, and his brother sold food and clothing. Because of his brother’s mental health issues, Issa was able to be resettled after less htan a decade at the camp; on average, refugees live in camps for 17 years before resettlement.

Guardian Maps Global Displacement Numbers

The Guardian’s Global Development team is at it again, illustrating the populations around the world with the highest levels of internal displacement.

With data provided by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council, the map shows that the countries with the three highest number of internally displaced people are Colombia, Syria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, respectfully. This map estimates that 2.7 million are displaced in the DRC, up from 1.7 million at the end of 2010.

This number is higher than the 2.2 million estimated by UNHCR and the 2.4 million estimated by Refugees International.

This 2.7 million does not include 490,000 refugees that have fled the country. Over 69 million live in the country in total.

MDG : world map with numberof IDP by conflict

For more information and infographics illustrating the numbers of internally displaced persons around the world, check out the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Internal Displacement page.