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'A Hope For Tomorrow' Lays Bare The Life Of DRC Refugee & US Citizen Edumakono Zetho

Since the mid-1990s, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been engulfed by civil war. The UN estimates that more than 6 million people have been killed in the conflict, and more than half a million have fled the country as refugees.

Edumakono Zetho was among them.

He explains about the DRC, "the country is really blessed with minerals and resources. And because of that, we have no peace. So my father was working as an immigration officer and he tried all his best to fight against corruption. But the government didn’t like it, so he was murdered."

Zetho and his family left the country soon after and landed in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp, in Tanzania. He lived there for 15 years before he was offered a way out. 

"The country is really blessed with minerals and resources. And because of that, we have no peace."

The documentary, A Hope For Tomorrow, details Zetho's journey to the U.S. and his work with refugees here in the U.S. and in Africa. Produced by filmmaker Maryann Lazarski, the documentary will premiere on Milwaukee PBS Thursday, Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m. 

In A Hope For Tomorrow, Zetho returns to his Nyragusu, where the population has rapidly expanded to more than 200,000 people. Most of these refugees will never find a permanent home, which Zetho says makes him all the more inspired to keep returning and working with people, to share the gifts he feels he has been blessed with. 

"My mom used to tell me this, 'Some people went to school to learn how to become leaders. Others, circumstances of life made them leaders.' I believe that’s how I became a leader," says Zetho. 

Joy is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.