Congolese man launches Refugee Week Scotland

Congo is in the throes of a bloody civil war. Picture: AFP
Congo is in the throes of a bloody civil war. Picture: AFP
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REFUGEE Week has been launched by a Congolese man who fled his country fearing for his life.

Paying tribute to his adopted homeland Jethro Kinavuidi, 32, wrote “Thank You Glasgow” as a tribute to the people of the city he now calls home.

Refugee Week Scotland is in its 12th year and involves more than 100 events including carnivals, concerts, street football matches and exhibitions.

Jethro found safety in Scotland in 2008 and now lives in Glasgow with his wife and three children.

He said: “I came to Glasgow to be safe with my family and that is why I want to say ‘thank you’ to this city and its people.

“But I also want to help people understand what is going on in my country.

“In Congo we have everything - sunshine and diamonds - but people are suffering. We have political problems, people are tortured, women are raped and people cannot eat.”

This year’s theme is “Spirit” and organisers said it represents the spirit of survival of the refugees that escaped persecution and rebuilt their lives in Scotland, as well as the spirit of communities across the country.

Refugee Week Scotland co-ordinator Suzi Simpson said: “Refugee Week is all about having fun and there is plenty of that to be had this year with over 100 events, including world-class comedy, carnivals and community celebrations, theatre, films, exhibitions and even street football.

“It is also about highlighting the voices of refugees and celebrating the very real contribution they are making in Scotland.

“We should all feel proud to be part of a country with a strong tradition of providing sanctuary for those who need it and Thank You Glasgow is a timely reminder of that.”

In 2011 more than 2,000 were given support who were seeking asylum in Scotland.

They came from a different countries including Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Eritrea, Sri Lanka, China and Democratic Republic of Congo.