Country of Origin: Congo
Joseph is from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Growing up, Joseph looked up to his father, a judge in the Congolese Supreme court. His father instilled in him a firm belief in the importance of justice and discipline, inspiring him to become a lawyer.
Joseph married a journalist and had four children. In 2011, political tensions began to boil after a new election, and Joseph began to fear for his family’s life.
His community became increasingly violent, and he had no choice but to flee. Joseph left everything behind, including his treasured belongings and elegant home. The one thing he did take along with him was his diploma, certifying the accomplishment of his dream to become a lawyer.
In June of 2012, Joseph and his family moved to the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, where they remained for a year before relocating to Nairobi. He and his family became refugees and applied for asylum to the United States. Four years later, their application was accepted.
On December 22nd, 2013, Joseph’s son and brother-in-law went missing. The family worked tirelessly to find them, but their efforts were unsuccessful. Both remain missing to this day.
Joseph does not dwell on the past. While his son’s absence is painful, he is committed to providing a better life for his family.
One of his proudest achievements is that his kids are safe and receiving a quality education. When asked about his refugee journey, Joseph recalls his story but maintains that being a refugee is no longer part of his identity. He likens the refugee label to a form of clothing, one that he shed upon his entry into the United States.
Joseph and his family arrived in New Haven on October 25th, 2016. He is committed to helping people and contributing his skills to improve his host community.