Date of Birth: 12 July 1964
Citizen of the Democratic Republic of Congo
UNHCR Reg. 81200000147
1 Wife, 8 Children – 4 Female, 4 Male
Reverand Msafiri Bagula Bijere and his family arrived in Tanzania in 2016 from the DRC, Bukavu
fleeing a war caused by political unrest in the country. He went to Burundi seeking asylum,
however, it was not peaceful there as they also had political unrest going on in the country.
Therefore, he and his family were forced to flee to Tanzania. In Tanzania, they were hosted by Rev.
Rwakatare. During their stay with the Reverend, they were fortunate enough to meet Rev. Machichi,
who informed them about TCRS. He then visited the TCRS offices in Mikocheni Dar.
TCRS showed him hospitality, supported him and the family with clothing, as well as helped him
find a place to live, along with 6 months’ rent.
He was instructed to go to UNHCR offices in Dar es Salaam where he was given a letter to go to the
Ministry of Internal Affairs. There, he was given a letter to be transferred to the Nyarugusu refugee
camp, in Kigoma. Because of his wife’s ailment, he requested to stay in Dar es Salaam. His request
was rejected and was forced to go to the assigned refugee camp.
After staying in the camp for seven months, his wife’s health worsened and she had to be admitted
to the camp’s health centre. Unfortunately, at the time that she needed medical assistance, the camp
doctors were on strike. Henceforth, she could not receive adequate medical assistance. Luckily a
doctor was remaining at the centre that issued them a referral letter so that they could seek medical
help elsewhere for Rev. Bijere’s wife.
When he arrived in Dar es Salaam, he went to UNHCR and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MHA) to
get permission for him and his family to relocate and stay in Dar es Salaam. UNHCR paid for his
wife’s medical expenses.
In 2018/19, the government of Tanzania put sanctions on refugees and requested all urban
refugees to relocate to designated camps. However, TCRS went to speak to the Director of MHA
about the health condition of Reverand’s wife and the family’s welfare. MHA agreed for the wife to
stay in Dar es Salaam with 3 of the children, and the Reverand was taken to NMC Kigoma.
While all this was happening, his 2nd born, a daughter, got married to a Canadian and left Tanzania
to live with her husband in Canada to date.
The Reverand, assisted by TCRS, managed to get a UNHCR permit that recognized him and the
entire family as UNHCR refugees. This permit helped him and his family find another country to
repatriate to, Canada, where he and his family will reside there.
TCRS continued to provide them with items such as medicine, clothing and food throughout this
period of seeking permission and permits from MHA and UNHCR.
He is very grateful for TCRS’ constant and unwavering support, especially for food, clothing,
medicine, and children’s school books. He used to visit the TCRS offices regularly and received a
warm welcome and was given utmost respect from the entire staff, to name a few, Mama Kellen,
and Suzy Ukio. Special thanks to Teddy who invited us to her house and cooked us food from time
Narrated by Rev. Msafiri Bagula Bijere