Marie And Pauline: Congolese Sisters Reconnected After Years Of Separation
Giulia Balestra
Posted by Giulia Balestra
Mar 13 18

In 2012, armed forces took over North Kivu’s capital city of Goma, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Marie’s family got scattered. She was left with nothing. It was hard to believe that in only one day she had lost everything: her home, her belongings, her family. 

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Marie And Pauline: Congolese Sisters Reconnected After Years Of Separation

Marie grew up in Goma, North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), surrounded by her nine siblings. She remembers the day when her youngest sister, Pauline, moved to Canada with her husband. Pauline had the chance to start afresh in a new country, different and far away from her own.

Pauline missed her family and treasured the long phone calls with her sister Marie, during which the two sisters talked about their respective lives, their daily hardships, and their dreams and hopes for the future.

In 2012, armed forces took over their hometown of Goma and the family got scattered. Marie was left with nothing. It was hard to believe that in only one day she had lost everything: her home, her belongings, her family.

Marie found refuge in Kampala, Uganda, where she learned that the rest of the family had fled to Kinshasa, in the DRC. Displacement also meant that they had lost all contacts with Pauline and did not know how to get in touch with her.

Marie could not find peace. She was determined to find Pauline and she kept searching and hoping. For years.

In Kampala, Marie learned about REFUNITE through other Congolese refugees searching for their families. She decided to register and search for her sister.

In January 2018, Pauline and Marie were reconnected through REFUNITE and could finally talk to each other again. After six years of silence they had a long conversation waiting to be continued.

29th January 2018.

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