Help an at risk family get safely to Canada
$3,663 raised
24% of $15k goal
5 contributors
79 Days running


CURRENTLY WE ARE RAISING FUNDS FOR THIS FAMILY. Any amount helps and bring us closer to our goal and a new life for Mary, Martin and their children.

Who: Family of four from “Democratic Republic of the Congo”
Current location: Refugee Settlement, Uganda
Situation: Refugees
Status: Full UNHCR registration certificate
Needed: Sponsorship to Canada, fundraising

Please donate! We are the people behind Walk Like a Refugee. We need to raise $28,000 to get bring these adorable children and their sweet parents to safety in Canada through the private refugee sponsorship program.

They are not safe in Uganda, because they have a "mixed" marriage and their respective communities will never leave them alone. 

Martin and Mary fled violence only to find themselves under threat in another country. While they seek a safer home for their babies, they are devoted to helping others. Martin is planting medicinal plants to treat malaria, typhoid, and other diseases running rampant in his Refugee Settlement in Uganda. He hopes to open a hospital there.


The “Democratic Republic of the Congo” is famous for violent clashes between ethnic groups such as the Banyamulenge, Babembe, Bafuliiru, and Bashii. These conflicts have followed Martin and Mary – a married couple of two different “ethnicities” - to Uganda, where they currently live with their two children in Nakivale Refugee Settlement.

Both of them fled violence, but they still live in constant fear for their lives. 


Mary, 24, is a Tutsi woman of the Banyamulenge ethnic group from the South Kivu Province in the “Democratic Republic of the Congo.” Mary is a musician and has studied to be a veterinarian. In 2015 she released an album with the Swahili title, "BABA MOJA," which translates to "One Father," in English. The album’s message was that all of the Congolese ethnic groups have the “same father” and that they should not be fighting with each other. After the album’s launch, she and a fellow musician were kidnapped by unknown assailants and taken to the Kyamate forest, where they were tortured.

“I want to send a message of peace and unity. Banyamulenge, Babembe, Bafuliiru, Bashii and other ethnics we are belonging to the same father. Why do we have discrimination among us? They took us to the forest and they did terrible things to us and told us not to encourage reunification among ethnics.” - Mary

After several weeks, one of the members of the group that kidnapped the women helped Mary escape in exchange for payment. She went to an aunt but a few months later the village was attacked and the women fled to Uganda. That is where she met Martin.


Martin, 26, is also from South Kivu in the DRC. His father was Hutu, of the Bafuliru ethnic group, and his mother was Tutsi, of the Banyamulenge ethnic group. In 1994, one year after Martin’s birth, the Hutus killed 70% of the Tutsi population in the Rwandan genocide, less than 400 km away from Martin’s family’s village.

In August, 2010, when Martin was 17 years old, he was kidnapped, along with two other boys and one girl, by Rwandan rebel forces. They were taken to the Kitundu forest and accused of being spies.

“We were tortured and beaten with the sticks of fire. The girl was raped by several guys and after three days she died,” said Martin.

The camp was attacked later that month by unknown armed people, and the captives took the opportunity to run. Martin returned to his home village in September to find that his brother had been killed a few days earlier and that his entire family was accused of being spies and were now assassination targets.

He left for Uganda, eventually finding his way to Nakivale Refugee Settlement. That was in 2010 and he has been there ever since.


But they are still not safe.

Martin and Mary were married in 2015, though members of their respective ethnic groups, also living in the Nakivale settlement, opposed the “mixed” marriage and continue to threaten them four years later.

“My and her ethnic members started following us and they will not leave us. They are saying that Tutsi and Hutu cannot live together, and we should be separated,” explains Martin.

They have two adorable children; a two-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son.

“I am afraid for my family and my children.” – Martin


During their time in Uganda Martin has been working as a mentor with a local organization, running a primary school, and planting medicinal plants in the settlement to help treat the many illnesses that afflict the residents. Mary sells milk products and sings gospel at a local church. She is hoping for an opportunity to finally release her music.

“People in [the camp] are affected by malaria, typhoid, U.T.I, stomachache and other diseases. We started planting medical plants. We have planted 100 moringa plants and will soon plant paw paws. I want to plant 4,000 plants to help treat these diseases. I believe in natural resources.” - Martin

“I want to record music and make people happy. I still have a message of peace. I just want a safer home for my family.” - Mary


Before we can submit a sponsorship application, we need to raise an estimated $28,000. These funds will go towards settling the family in Toronto for their first year, including shelter, food, clothing, furniture and startup costs.

“We will never stop our appreciation to you for your work trying to help us resettle in Canada. Thank you.” – Martin and Mary

For more information on who we are visit


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