Rodrigue


Despite its proximity, it never occurred Rodrigue to cross the border into the DR Congo, not until the Seleka troops invaded his hometown, Bangui, in 2013. At the time Rodrigue was studying chemistry and finances at the University of Bangui. He was active in the students’ union and because of this he was forced to leave his country; the new masters regarded the union as a potential threat. After a difficult journey, Rodrigue reached Kinshasa, where he received the refugee status. In Congo’s capital he has not been able to resume his studies and does not always make ends meet, nevertheless, his primary concern is his countrymen’s destiny: he cannot tolerate to see them suffer.  Rodrigue has become their representative, he is the secretary of the organization of Central African refugees in Kinshasa, a self-created organ. Rodrigue tries to listen to his compatriots’ problems and help where he can: he is a mediator between the refugees and the organs that are ought to protect them. Rodrigue visits the sick and mediates for the right medical treatments, he tries to get them the correct documents, etc…

The attached picture was taken during a burial ceremony. One of the refugees who was brought over for breast cancer treatment past away, partly due to the lack of the right medication – she  only received sedatives, it was said. The woman died and is buried far from her home country. In the picture, one can see Rodrigue (with a red t-shirt) partaking in the ceremony by shoveling sand over the grave.”