Fube is a village in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa. It was designed and built by refugees who returned to the DRC after the first democratic elections in 2006.
During the period of 1998 and 2003 the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was the epicenter for what has been called Africa’s World War, with hostilities between rebel groups and government forces resulting in the death of approximately five million people. During this period, a large number of refugees fled from the DRC’s southern providence to non-government run camps in Zambia. At the peak, the United Nations Refugee Agency estimated 66,000 Congolese refugees were in camps in Zambia.
Through a voluntary repatriation process for Congolese refugees living in Zambai, they began reentering the Katanga Province in 2007. Here is a great story of the repatriation experience to Fube and other villages as captured by Krista in thereelproject.
Fube was designed to be a safe haven and sanctuary for returning refugees. A purpose built community for refugees, who, for one reason or another, could not return to their homes and villages.
As an example, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, people may be accused of witchcraft when they seem to have accrued wealth and status. People say they have used majini – bad spirits in Swahili – to attract success and affluence. Fube has become a safe haven for those with concerns about their safety.
Great insights from Fube community members can be found in an article published by Robyn Leslie, who works as the regional advocacy and communications offers for the Jesuit Refugee Service, Southern Africa. She shares stories from refugees in her compelling article “Refugees of Africa’s World War Still Fear Returning Home“.
One refugee, Kyomdwa Ntombo shares insight in the origins of the Fube name, “This is what the name ‘Fube’ means,” Kyomdwa Ntombo says. “It comes from an old French word that means ‘blurred’.