One Teen’s Journey from Refugee Camp to US School Principal


Human Wrongs Watch

10 January 2019 — After escaping from two years of captivity at the hands of Mai Mai rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Bertine Bahige was relieved to end up in a UN refugee agency (UNHCR) camp, in faraway Mozambique.*

© UNHCR/Marta Martinez | The former Congolese refugee Bertine Bahige
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In 2004, he was one of the lucky ones to be resettled in Maryland, United States, where he landed a job taking out the trash at a fast-food restaurant.
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Eventually, his hard work, intelligence and enduring optimism landed him a university scholarship – way out in the Rocky Mountains.
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He’d been forcibly taken from his family at 13, and thrown into the horrifying world of being a child soldier, before escaping his captors.
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Speaking at the UN last year in support of the Global Compact on Refugees, Mr. Bahige shared the fascinating story of how he went from a child aspiring to become a doctor in the DRC, to an elementary school principal in Wyoming with a wife and two children of his own.

“All refugees are asking for is an opportunity,” he said.

Read the story here.

*SOURCE: UN News.

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