Neema Gahima

Today, I had the pleasure of photographing Neema. She is one of my wife's friends and a refugee from the Congo here in Louisville, Ky. In 2004, after the Second Congo War (also known as the Great African War), violence was still rampant throughout Africa. Neema and her family were directly affected by this and she lost both her parents that year. After walking back from collecting water with her sister, she witness both her parents get murdered. Neema's aunt moved their family from the war-infested Congo to Tanzania to survive. They traveled by truck and lived with her father's friends for three years until they moved to Kenya in 2009. 

Life was not easy for Neema and her family in the refugee camp where they lived. It was hard to get food, water, or places to sleep. Neema grew up with Christian parents, however, there was severe discrimination against non-Muslims in the refugee camp.

In Kenya, Neema, applied to move to America. She had to go through classes to learn about America and go through interviews and medical tests. She was assigned to Louisville. Once she came to Louisville the most shocking thing about her move was that the trees were different colors in the fall and the weather was significantly colder here versus Africa.