Who We Are
As the name states, we are the Congolese Family Support Organization – CFSO, a refugee-led Ethnic Community Based Organization (ECBO). The organization was formed in 2017 to support and guide the refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in San Diego, California area.
Theaim of the CFSO is to help Congolese people acclimate to their new lives in the United States, be able to rebuild their lives,live in accordance with the local laws and ordinances, support their families and contribute to the development of the community they live in.
The idea of forming the CFSO came from the observation made by many community stakeholders that Congolese refugees in San Diego, California were the most involved in Domestic Violence (DV) and other forms of crimes because of lack of education, lack of knowledge about the laws of the country, etc.
On August 8th, 2017; a meeting was called by Mid-City Police Department to find ways to solve this problem. After the meeting, the few Congolese who were at the meeting decided to meet with Congolese ethnic group leaders in San Diego to form the Congolese Family Support Steering Committee (CFSSC). The mission of the CFSSC was to form a Congolese community organization which will continue to fight Domestic Violence (DV) and the many other issues affecting Congolese refugees in San Diego. After several meetings between Mid-City police department and the ethnic leaders; the members unanimously agreed to form the Congolese Family Support Organization (CFSO).
We realized that an organized Congolese Community organization would be an obvious solution to many of the problems the refugees are going through in this area. Resettlement agencies are overwhelmed and the length of time they can provide services to newcomers is very limited (90 days) that they cannot to focus only on Congolese refugees.
We hope you have also realized that there are many organized and supported refugee community organizations in San Diego but there has never been a Congolese organization of that kind. We strongly believe that many of the problems distressing Congolese refugees in San Diego could be prevented, alleviated or even eradicated if there was an organized Congolese community organization.
CFSO will mainly focus on issues like:
- Domestic Violence (prevention and guidance to victims and perpetrators)
- Newcomers orientation and information about the life in the US (San Diego)
- Help with filling different paperwork (i.e. Welfare to Work packages, CalFresh application packages, etc.)
- Referrals for different services needed
- Train Congolese interpreters to help fellow Congolese (interpreting/translating Congolese languages including but not limited to French and Swahili (Kingwana))