The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported last month an 8 percent increase in the number of people seeking asylum worldwide from 2011 to 2012. Last year’s total was the highest since 2003. Congolese refugee Dakie Tshilobo recently moved to Spokane with her parents Patrick Kazadi and Jolie Ngenda. World Relief, the organization helping Dakie’s family get their bearings has resettled about 12,000 people in the Inland Northwest during the past two decades, about 100 of them Congolese.
Congolese refugee Dakie Tshilobo, 4, stands, wide-eyed with her mother Jolie Ngenda, 25, and father Patrick Kazadi, 32, after they landed at Spokane International Airport, late Thursday night, Feb. 7, 2013, in Spokane, Wash.
On her 5th birthday, after several weeks of living in an intermediary World Relief owned apartment while the organization searched for a more permanent living situation, Dakie looks in the window and rings the doorbell on a birthday present of sorts: a one room apartment for her and her parents on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in Spokane, Wash.
Patrick and Jolie debate who will go to the grocery store for the first time with a World Relief case worker as Dakie pulls on Patrick’s arm wanting to go to the park on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, at in Spokane, Wash. For her parents, the first weeks in Spokane were a busy time of getting acclimated to the area and a rush of information from World Relief.
Dakie laughs as she rolls on the carpet in her parents’ apartment on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in Spokane, Wash. Dakie won’t start school until next fall, so she will spend a large amount of time with her mother in the apartment. Patrick said she often asks him when she will be able to go to school. “I tell her ‘tomorrow,’” he said.