In this captivating memoir, John, a young refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, embarks on a journey of growth and resilience. At eleven, he arrives with his family in Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi. He plays a role in their toil to create a new life from nothing. They achieve a short-lived stability. An escalating political tension triggers xenophobia and a crisis, which forces his family to flee their refuge in Malawi. He is forced to leave behind friends and a quality education he had desperately worked to get.
Destitute, his family starts a new life in Mpaka Refugee Camp in Swaziland. Dejection takes its toll on him due to unimaginable conditions of this familiar, yet new life. But when he starts school and Alberto, his twin friend whom he left in Dzaleka, arrives in Mpaka, life becomes manageable. Alberto’s arrival triggers depressing memories and thoughts about fleeing and living as a refugee. Even so, new dreams are born. Against all odds, success follows him as he establishes a youth club in the camp, represents his school in multiple regional and national academic and sporting contests, gets elected the school Head Boy, graduates from high school as one of the top students countrywide and ultimately gets the much-desired scholarships from both the United World Colleges and African Leadership Academy. This marks a start of another struggle; bureaucracy and bilateral country immigration laws prove his refugee efforts almost futile. And when he makes it to Germany, a whole new world opens. He learns that a refugee somewhere is a refugee everywhere!
A simple read, Refuge-e: The Journey Much Desired subtly connects the little-known suffering of refugees to the much-ignored world politics. It details many aspects of the dark life of refugees and questions whether there is hope for a young refugee determined to succeed.