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Father from Congo teaching his children to help others


Esther Kinyana and her children Blessing, 8,  and Gloria, 13, look on at baby Gladys, who arrived in early October.

Fourteen years ago, Albert Byishimo wasn’t sure he’d see his wife and young son again.

Civil war was tearing apart his home country, Congo. Byishimo, now 41, was studying at a university several hours away from the village where Esther Kinyana and their-then 1-year-old son Bienfait were living.

Because they didn’t have phones to stay connected about their whereabouts, Byishimo didn’t know that Esther and Bienfait had fled to a refugee camp in Burundi. He, too, had to leave quickly because of a surge in violent killings.

“She was trying to find somewhere peaceful to live with the baby,” he says. “Our country has been in war for a long time. Everyone thinks that ‘my friend or my wife or my husband is dead maybe,’ because you don’t know. You don’t have the communication to say, ‘I’m alive.’”


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