The Welcome to America project started in the days after the tragedy Sept. 11, 2001 and helps political refugees by delivering furniture and other household goods to homes they have relocated to in the Phoenix area. WTAP often does dinners with refugees in an effort to raise awareness and culture of there homeland(s) and use it as a fund raiser for expenses incurred running WTAP.

The most recent dinner was with refugees, culture and food from Congo or Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Congo was 1st settled by Belgian settlers and gained independence in 1960. It is the 2nd largest country in Africa and is rich in minerals such as gold and diamonds. Several languages are spoken in Congo with French and Swahili are the most spoken.

We dined on foods that are similar to those found here. Goat meat is eaten quite a bit in Congo and was served with vegetable and Basmati rice seasoned and mixed with raisins, along with chicken and vegetable stew. The goat meat was nice treat as I was not sure what to expect.

Dr. Joseph Kimbuende who left Congo over 20 years ago and now teaches at Phoenix College spoke about the current situation in Congo and about it’s rich history and culture. Recent refugee Dieudonne Mubalama spoke also. Music and dance was performed by Penuel Ministry Choir.

If you are interested in donating furniture and household goods or to make a monetary donation, or to partner with WTAP you can reach them at 602-490-0088 or

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