• Community Support Programme (CSP) | IOM

Alexis Chabakuru, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo is of Tutsi Banyamulenge ethnicity. He fled to Kenya along with his wife and children to avoid ethnic discrimination in his homeland. Alexis and family also survived the appalling massacre against Banyamulenge refugees’ camp in Gatumba village of Burundi in 2004. In 2019, when Alexis was struggling, his childhood friend and former neighbour Jerome Mukiza Rugaruza extended his helping hand. “I met Alexis and his group of 21 young Banyamulenge whose tents were burnt in one night in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya and gave them food” says Jerome. Jerome is the founder and President of the Global Alliance for Peace (GAP), a charity organisation that is dedicated to assisting refugees and asylum seekers with their relocation to Australia.

After arriving in Australia in February 2023 through IOM Australia’s Community Support Programme (CSP) they are overjoyed that they have a new life and hope for a better future for the children. Alexis has secured a job with BioGiene Abattoir in Dinmore, City of Ipswich, Queensland. Jolie, his wife,  upon improving her English language skills wishes to venture into hair-dressing activities. Their children have enrolled in school. Manasse has enrolled who is in Grade 10 and wants to be a neurosurgeon in future. Joseph is in Grade 8 and wishes to be an engineer growing up. With brilliant academic attainments in their past education, Manasse and Joseph are excited about their schooling opportunities and curriculum in here. Their two daughters, Noella and Deborah are attending a primary school near their home. They are learning English fast and been able to find friends among neighbours.

Alexis journey from Kenya to Australia is a fascinating example of the true spirit of Community Support. Power of togetherness has enabled business owners, families and individuals to come forward as a community and propose humanitarian applicants and support them in their settlement journey in Australia.

The Banyamulenge Congolese Community in Queensland together with the church of Christ came forward to provide initial financial, social, logistical and most importantly informational support for the family. With support from this close-knit Congolese community, Alexis and his family is starting over and working towards building a life in Australia free from fear and discrimination.

The man who survived fire three times in three countries because of his ethnicity; Kihuha his village, Gatumba refugee camp in Burundi and Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. Alexis and his family are now safe enjoying life in Australia

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities