It remains a dream for many displaced people to be able to return to their homes. When this dream becomes a reality, there are many mixed emotions. Repatriation activities are undertaken in several of AIRD’s operations for displaced people who wish to return home. Repatriation exercises are always very carefully coordinated, with the highest wellbeing of returnees being at the forefront. This means that not only should returnees travel safely, but very often, provision of essential items is ensured so that they can restart their lives with a few months of basics at hand.

On Tuesday, December 10, 2019 a voluntary repatriation of Central African refugees took place at the Maya-Maya International Airport in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. A total of 61 families, consisting of 168 individuals were repatriated.

We spoke with Josiane, one of the returnees.

“My name is Josiane Alingbialo. I was born on August 06, 1993 and I am 26 years old. I am from the Central African Republic, from the city Bangui. I have not married yet, but I’m engaged. God has given me three children. The oldest, Julius Fleury, is four years old followed by twin girls, Arielle and Précieuse, who are 11 months old.

Living in a foreign country is not easy especially with the economic situation in Congo. It was a new experience for me but I remember having a good relationship with the Congolese. I even learned to speak Lingala fluently and God gave me twin girls in this host country.

It’s a great pleasure for me to go back to Bangui- it’s like a dream come true! My only fear is returning without the father of my twins. They are very attached to their father but he has stayed behind for study reasons. It’s sad and I pray God helps me”.

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