HOME IN PORTUGAL (part 2): Expelled from his country after protesting for democracy, father beat the odds to find his family
Note: This is the second in a three-day series of videos featuring Fuller Center homeowner partner families in Braga, Portugal. They will soon be living with other families in a six-unit complex — including two other refugee families from Syria (story here) and the Democratic Republic of Cameroon (part 3, coming Thursday).
When then-President Joseph Kabila announced in December 2016 that would ignore his country’s constitution and said he would not step down when his term ended, Zinga Pumbulu was among those who took to the streets in protest.
It nearly cost him his freedom, his family and his life. It did rob him of his home — and a country to call home.
Zinga was jailed, but when he was bailed out, the police told him to go, leave the country, and never return. Or else. His pregnant wife Sarah and two daughters had to flee their home and headed toward Angola, where they sheltered in a church until someone finally got them a flight to Portugal, where they were granted asylum.
Zinga escaped through the jungle, at times becoming lost and losing a couple of friends to starvation along the way. He eventually got in touch with family members who told him that Sarah and his daughters were “somewhere in Europe.”
In 2018, the long and winding road finally saw the family reunited in Portugal, where they have established roots and soon will have a home thanks to The Fuller Center for Housing.
This is their story of their arduous journey to freedom and a new home (enable closed-captioning):