Congolese refugees in Missoula to perform “real life” play

Refugee children, displaced by continued fighting in north Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), queue for food in the Nyakabande refugee transit camp in Kisoro town, 521 km (324 miles) southwest of Uganda’s capital Kampala, July 13, 2012. REUTERS/James Akena

By Missoula Current

Six refugee families resettled in Missoula from the Democratic Republic of Congo will take the stage next week at the University of Montana to perform a play spun for their personal experiences.

“When One Becomes Many” explores the way refugees bond in refugee camps, the sickness that takes away family and friends, and how they’ve resettled in their host country to start a new life.

Members of the refugee families wrote the script and music, choreographed dances and will star in the play.

“I’m excited about the play because in the play I can speak many things – and people can communicate through the play,” said Joel Makeci, one of the Congolese refugees and a father. “We have many people who don’t know the difficulty around the world, but we want to show them how many people are suffering from the war.”

The families have worked with students from UM’s Franke Global Leadership Initiative, as well as the university’s Student Involvement Network.

“I found it was one of the most meaningful and fun experiences of my college career,” said Taylor Wyllie, a UM student and member of the Franke GLI capstone group, which helped organize the play.

The students have worked with the families since December.

“The play is going to be epic,” Wyllie said.

The group will perform at the University Center Ballroom from 7 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, April 30.

Tickets cost $10 for students and $15 for community members. All proceeds will assist the Congolese families.