Idaho Refugee Integration & Success Award - Fidel Nshombo
Fidel Nshombo was resettled by the IRC in Boise in July 2006 shortly after the Boise office opened. At the height of the genocide in Rwanda, Fidel, at age 12 found himself separated from his entire family. Journeying through seven African countries in search of safety he found himself barely surviving on some of Africa’s meanest streets, narrowly escaping being killed on more than one occasion. The news that he would finally be resettled in the U.S. gave him immense hope.
All those who know Fidel would agree that his award of the Idaho Refugee Integration and Success Award was well deserved. Since arriving in Idaho Fidel has distinguished himself in the community as a human rights activist, an advocate for refugees and refugee issues, a refugee team soccer coach, a refugee youth mentor, all in addition to being a gifted writer and a dedicated employee at Doubletree Riverside Hotel. Most recently Fidel was the key note speaker at the inauguration of the Idaho Human Rights Education Center Book Club and then again at Martin Luther King Day celebration at the Idaho Capitol Rotunda where he joined several hundred people to celebrate the national holiday. His speeches are always thought provoking, providing a ray of hope to those who have endured great trauma in their life.
Fidel not only writes prose, but he is also a gifted poet. In his search to heal the wounds he experienced during his time on the run Fidel took up writing poetry. He hopes his story will someday help bring about greater peace and compassion around the globe. He shares his poetry in his first book “Route to Peace”.
Fidel is a proud member of the Boise community and often speaks of Boise as "a place I never dreamed of, a place I never heard of, a place where today I think I really needed to be all along. A place of peace, love and prosperity. A place that allowed me to search for myself, my family, my dream." We all congratulate Fidel for his well deserved award. You can follow Fidel’s journey through his website http://boisetobukavu.com