Mambo Sawa Sawa

One of the four survivors featured in the film The Last Survivor is Justin Semahoro Kimenyerwa, a Congolese refugee who was resettled to the United States on June 11, 2008. This is his story.

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The Imuhira Idea

As told by the founder of Imuhira International, Justin Semahoro Kimenyerwa.

As I was growing up, I faced many challenges and difficulties. I faced so much hatred because I was from the Munyamulenge tribe, as did all the people from my community. I believe we were all created in the Image of God.

I started Imuhira International because I believe that change and a new face can come to our region through reconciliation. The best way to start, I believe, is by helping orphans and widows from all tribes, and preserving the culture. I know orphans and widows are most vulnerable people affected by the wars in Africa and they need help. I have witnessed orphans and widows dying from hunger with no shelter, no clothes, no food, etc… that made me felt very bad. I prayed to God and asked him to help me to be able to help orphans and widows.

When I was in American cultural orientation in Nairobi, Kenya, my tutor said one thing that I will never forget: he said that America is “the Land of Opportunity.” In my heart I decided that I will use that opportunity to help orphans, widows, and to preserve my culture.

Helping is in my nature. I LOVE to help others, and when I’m doing so I feel so good. I don’t like to see when people are suffering and I can’t do anything about it. So now God has given me this chance to do what I love. I believe that through Imuhira International many tribes will be helped and reconciliation will take place. People who were enemies will be friends again to each other. Different tribes will visit each other, will go to the same church and care for each other, and will visit each other for meals. I believe different tribes will come together and ask forgiveness for the wrongs they did to one another.

Also through Imuhira, I hope Americans and others will learn more about The Banyamulenge and other Congolese tribes as well. Imuhira will serve as a bridge between those who need help and those who want to help. Imuhira will provide the chance for those who want to learn new things and about an unfamiliar culture to do so. I hope that by starting Imuhira I am able to raise awareness of what is going on in my homeland and how the conflict can be solved.

In closing, I know God started this great idea in me and I am sure he will accomplish it.

We need your support in order for us to make the difference I mentioned above.

Thanks,
Justin