Les Congolais de Londres: Re-introducing London’s Congolese Community (2016)

<< Les congolais de Londres >> are everywhere in London! The Congolese are the fastest growing Francophone African community in London – and have been for the past twenty years across Britain. There are over 25 000 Congolese (both from Republic of Congo and Congo DRC) living in London alone. Outside of London, many Congolese can be found in Derby, Manchester, Edinburgh, Merseyside Yorkshire and Cardiff.

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If you’re young, vibrant, professional and Congolese; or intimately connected with DRC Congo in any way, shape or form – then check out YPC (Young, Professional & Congolese)

A lot of things happening within the Congolese diaspora in London. Especially on Twitter. Check out , and ! Furthermore;  is an organisation run by passionate Congolese women who live in London but want to see a difference for the Congolese people. There’s a particular amazing restaurant in North London (another Lingala speaking area hub) called: @Thebashcongo. On Friday your food comes with a live band Zouk, Makoma, you name it. Melody tunes, great ambiance via !!!



Checkout: Sukissa

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Sukissa  are compatriots Congolese Democrats, having realized and realized early that information is an instrument of power in the Congo. They also find that those who hold information manipulate the people and often exercise power (power and opposition combined). For this reason, Sukissa have created and put online this site to inform the Congolese. The purpose of this site is therefore to inform through the writings, images and voice of the Congolese and, new information and communication technologies (ICTs) facilitate the research and dissemination of information.



Where can I find Congolese people in London?

Okay! << Les congolais de Londres >> are everywhere as mentioned before – and that pretty much is literally true! Now of course they are nowhere near as populated as the rather opulent and rival-orientated Nigerian and Ghanaian communities (joking) but these guys I have noticed very well in Barking and Dagenham, Peckham, Haringey and even Stratford. The colourful and often patriotic Congolese (Congo DRC) live mostly within the boroughs of Haringey, Newham, Southwark and the Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich. The Congolese from the Republic of Congo are also based in these areas and have a strong base in Derby and Nottingham. In London; it is best you start with Croydon, Haringey, Barking and Southwark.

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A growing handful of 2nd and 3rd generation of Congolese are migrating from FranceNetherlands and Belgium into London as European Citizens over the last 10 years. There are also sizeable Congolese Communities in Spain, Italy, Germany, Greece and even Russia. But back to London. Historically; the Congolese mainly form two communities. One group arrived in the UK in the late 1980s and early 1990s, mostly from Kinshasa and other urban centres in the west of the country. These earlier arrivals mostly live in London. More recent arrivals have come from the war-torn regions of eastern Congo. Having applied for asylum they have been dispersed to accommodation outside London, many in the Greater Manchester area.

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The Bash Restaurant in Wood Green, Okapi Cuisine in Turnpike Lane and Deluxe Manna Bistro in Tottenham amongst others illustrate how North London is pretty much ‘home’ for many Congolese Londoners. Furthermore, Chez Chiyonika is a Congolese grocery shop providing food like chikwangue and Kongo Bololo as well as other typical Afro-Caribbean fayre, including meat and fish. Aside from food, music, clothing and being multi-lingual are some of the other traits much of the African community use to distinguish our colourful brothers.


Five #CongoleseLondoners: To Check Out:

NAIVASHA

Naivasha BBCArticulate. Well Spoken. Driven. Congolese. I’ve met this lady personally; heard her speak and you can literally feel here passion for the Diaspora, Congo and Young Black Britons – and I guess the rest is pretty self explanatory. The Elevation Networks Pro is Driven by education, social change and the voice of the diaspora. @NaivashaMwanji on Twitter, a mentor on the YPC platform and part of #HashtagCongo: A platform dedicated to making an unpopular struggle part of the wider conversation. Gifted and Multi-talented. Naivasha’s main goal is to see a diversity in the talent pool. More #BlackBritish youth given a Career chance post-uni. Wow! Check her out at: @NaivashaMwanji.


LISETTE MIBO (Passion For Motherland)

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Voila! Lisette Mibo with the children at the Charite et Secours orphanage centre in Kinshasa | Credits: PassionForMotherland

Aside from modelling, since moving to London Lisette has graduated with a BA in Sociology and Criminology, being a proud mother, and currently founder of Passion for the Mother Land and holds the title of ambassador for two charities;  Save the Congo and  Menelik Education, both of which are very close to her heart.

Find out more about this Good Lady via Twitter at: @LisetteMibo or Insta: /LisetteMibo


LEIDA (YOUNG, CONGOLESE AND FABULOUS)

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” YOUNG – Represents tomorrow; the future, hope and remembers those who came before us and planted seeds of change, opportunity, innovation and boldness. CONGOLESE – Represents who we are; our culture, history and heritage. FABULOUS – Represents the beauty of our country, the Democratic Republic of Congo and of the individual in all their glory. 

DRC Vision and Congolese Action Youth Platform UK pro Leida has Congolese Youth and Development running through her veins. Find out more about her and these two awesome community platforms via @CAYPBLOG or @DRCvision.

VAVA TAMPA

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Vava Tampa, a native of Congo, is the founder of Save the Congo, a London- based campaign tackling the human tragedy engulfing the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is de facto fiercely opposed to the current socio-political situation in Congo DRC is a very active activist and community workers with British-Congolese youth and community organisations. He is founder of SaveTheCongo and in his own words:

I tweet mainly about Congo where 6M+ have perished since 1998, and, for my sins, has Twitter-blocked me. 

Find out more about Vava Tampa on Twitter: @VavaTampa and Instagram: /VavaTampa


OKITO TONGOMO (CONGOLESE SUPPORT NETWORK)

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This Network (headed by Mr. Tongomo) aims to unify DR Congolese people in the diaspora (especially the UK) and breaking down of barriers and misunderstandings that foster disunity, value sharing and working to Reduce and eliminate domestic violence, Provide assistance to those looking for jobs, CV Centre; Provide IT, ESOL, and Leadership training to our members; Drop in Session, Weekend leisure centre for elderly and disable people and more.

London Based Congolese Organisations and Community Groups:


1) Young Professional and Congolese | @YPC__1

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The name pretty much gives this unique organisation away immeidately. Young, Professional & Congolese the first UK based network for young professional Congolese youth. One of their mottos is: “We don’t network to brag about how professional we are, but how we can collectively impact our #Congolese community.” I was at their networking event this year and it was a blast! Great Platform founded by a great Visionary: Michael Otadende.


2) Community of Congolese Refugees

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A SEASON IN THE CONGO by Cesaire, , Playwright – Aime Cesaire, Director – Joe Wright, The Young Vic, 2013, Credit: Johan Persson/

Community of Congolese Refugees (COREGOG) | Stephen Lawrence House 90 Green Gate Street Plaistow London E13 0AS | tel: 020 8548 4073, Tel: 020 8548 4073 020 8472 1096 020 8471 5921 | Fax: 020 8552 0574

The Community of Congolese Refugees in Great-Britain (CORECOG) is a Charity that has been running for over twenty years. The organisation give advice and information for Congolese and French speaking African refugees and asylum seekers on immigration and asylum, welfare rights, housing, employment and training, health issues and HIV/AIDS. Translation services are available. The centre runs ESOL classes as well as a maths and computing education project.


3) ZACCA (Zairean Community Association)

South block, 2nd floor, The Selby Centre, Selby Road, Tottenham, London N17 8JL | 0208 245 7026

This centre also provide advice, Guidance and training services, youth, interpreting and translation training, works in partnership with the Congolese Family Centre. They speak French, Tshiluba, Kikongo, Lingala and Swahili.


4) Congolese Family Centre

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1 Bellevue Mews New Southgate London N11 3HF | T: 020 8361 0923 | Email: info@childrenofcongo.org.uk

This group work directly with lingala speaking families. They gives advice and information on benefits, immigration, housing and employment to the Congolese community and provide support for children and young people with special needs. Home visiting and outreach services are available for older Congolese people offering welfare advice and practical help.


5) Children of Congo

Children of Congo 108-118 Wellington Building London E7 9BP United Kingdom

The Children of Congo are a UK registered Charity organisation promoting the education rights and wellbeing of Congolese children. They support women and children in eastern DR Congo to a better life after years of violence through alternative means of learning and development. Please get in touch with them for more info on the work they do and for insights on the Congolese community in Eastern Congo and the diaspora.


6) South London Congolese Association

118 Windmill Road Croydon CR0 2XQ | tele: 020 8664 8657 | Fax: 020 8665 5275 | E-Mail solca95@yahoo.co.uk

SLCA provide advice and information for african refugees and asylum seekers from french speaking countries, particularly those from DRC Congo that are based in South London and Croydon.


7) Londres na Biso

Location: London

Londres na Biso is the UK’s first Congolese News portal. They produce a weekly community news magazine programme produced by and for London’a Congolese community. Presented in Lingala and French and with occasional articles in English, it is broadcast on Resonance 104.4fm every Thursday at 4.30pm GMT and repeated the following Tuesday morning from 8am GMT.


8) Congolese Community Welfare Association (COCOWA)

Room 9, Edmonton Porta Cabin, Knights Lane, Lower Edmonton, London N9 0PD (temporary address) | Tel: 020 8803 1499 | email: cocowa_cbb@hotmail.com | http://www.cocowa.org.uk/

This centre serve congolese children and young people. They provide advice on education, family life, housing, homelessness and keeping in good health. Established by Richard Don Nkundo, the Congolese Community Welfare Association (COCOWA) helps Congolese asylum seekers, refugees, immigrants, students and visitors meet their individual needs whilst in the UK.


9) Congolese Action Youth UK

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The Congolese Action Youth UK is an empowered and active group of determined young Congolese people who are willing to:

*STAND UP against any injustices or oppression against us and/or our future
*Assist in the reconstruction of our nation
*Promote the unification and the strengthening of our community here in the UK


10) Wandsworth Congolese Community Association

156 Tildesley Road, Haldane Place, London, SW18 4UQ | Chair: Ibrahim Ki-Kalombo Position | wccacha@yahoo.co.uk | 020 88772866

Offers advice and information for the East African (especially Congolese) community on welfare and housing based in Wandsworth. There is a lunch club for older people, young women’s network, youth club and play group for under 5s.


11) Congolese Youth Association

]Unit C6, 3 Bradbury Street, London N16 8JN | Tel: 02079230333 | Fax: 02072496888

This organisation are based in North London. The Congolese Youth Association work and provide support in the areas of Children’s Benefits, Youth Community, Care, Community Relations, Cultural Education, Ethnic Organisations, Family Welfare, Health, Housing, International Organisations, Mental Health, Social Welfare and Voluntary Services.


12) Congolese Refugee Women’s Association (CRWA)

Earlham Grove Forest Gate London E7 9AB | Tel: 020 8534 4222 | Address: crwa65@hotmail.com

This East London Association is based in Forest Gate and is especially targeted towards East London’s Congolese communities. They provide information for East African women in the areas of housing, immigration, nationality and asylum, education, employment and welfare rights. Legal advice is also provided. This group provides help, support and direction for African women in need. Services include help to get skills, qualifications, training, employment and advice. Also assists the children of African women to get education support and advice. They are of good use to Congolese women as there are many French speaking migrants that have benefitted from the organisation especially those living in the London borough of Camden.


13) Women’s Association for African Networking and Development (WANDUK)

St Charles Centre for Health and Well-Being, Exmoor Street London W10 6DZ | Tel: 07813 485 607 | Email: info@wanduk.org

The Women’s Association for African Networking and Development is a London wide organisation. They are based in North London in Islington and work with African women in the selected boroughs of Islington, Camden, Hackney, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster. WAND was established in 2004 and became a company by guarantee and charity in 2005. WAND aims to support and empower African women especially refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and other vulnerable groups including HIV women.


Congolese Religious Groups in London:

There are plenty of French and Lingala speaking churches across London. There are so many that the list below is only a list of some of these churches and not all. Here are some of them:

Latymer Christian Fellowship Name of Church | Latymer Christian Centre, 116 Bramley Road, London W10 6SU | http://www.latymer.org.uk

Please make sure you check which service you attend as there are several christian fellowships at this multi-cultural church. The Centre is home to several other churches. These are the Portuguese speaking, Bread of Life Church and the French/Lingala speaking, International Assembly of God church. Both have their offices and main worship services at the centre; and the Spanish Evangelical Church in London and the Lighthouse Christian Fellowship have office space at the centre.


Calvary Charismatic Baptist Church | 119 East India Dock Road, Poplar, London E14 6DE | Tele: 0207 515 1616 |

This large church has several branches across London and the UK. Calvary Charismatic Baptist Church was established in 1994 in East London and is a member of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, Ireland. The Poplar has a French speaking service with many Congolese people in attendance.


London Lingala Section of Jehovah Witnesses | North: 9A ROOKWOOD ROAD, LONDON, N16 6SP – 020 86171679 | South: KINGDOM HALL OF JEHOVAHS WITNESSES 200 New Cross Road London SE14 5PG – 0207 277 5330

This is a Lingala and French speaking fellowship for Jehovah witnesses. The practice and advancement of christianity founded on the holy bible, including the preaching of the good news of god’s kingdom within the congregation are it’s main objectives.

DRC-Ed


*** Do you know or want to recommend other Congolese organisations and/or Entrepreneurs in London/UK that deserve a shoutout? ***

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