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UBUMWE is a nonprofit association composed by most people who were refugees in different African refugee camps and got a resettlement in the United States.

Also, many of those people fled their country in 1972 while they were young and did not get any chance of going to school.

Due to the lack of basic knowledge, our community in the United State specially those residing in Knoxville, Tennessee has a language barrier and are facing many problems; such as communication, attending their medical appointments, applying and attending their public assistance interviews, applying jobs and many others.

After noticing the problems our community is facing and have no solution because they were new in the neighborhood and do not speak English, the founding members sat down and decided to start a nonprofit association called UBUMWE (UNITED) to help refugees and immigrants in their integration with other communities and to cope with certain problems.

With this association UBUMWE, we can work together to get answers of those problems.




Here in United states is a big challenge to bury your loved one because it requires a lot of money. When it comes to African refugee, it is a big problem to get enough money to bury a dead person by him/herself because it requires a gathering of community to contribute enough money which was not easy to gather people before the creation of Ubumwe.

It is also a big challenge and a heartbreaking for African to see his/her loved one being cremated because of lack of money to bury his/her loved one in proper burial with dignity.

Thanks to UBUMWE association, the problem has been solved.


For a refugee it is a big problem when a relative is in jail because it is not easy to know how to help him/her. It requires someone familiar with the neighborhood and who understand the situation to help you find the jail to visit your relative or to bail him/her out.

It was a big problem for our community because we were missing our relatives for couple weeks thinking they got lost while they are in jail.

With UBUMWE association, we are now able to help our community know the whereabouts of their relatives and help them to solve the problem as soon as possible.



Our community were suffering from the lockout due to the lack of enough money to pay the rent because the family has no job and it is a shame and challenge to be locked out and expose your family to the bad weather.

With this issue UBUMWE now is fighting with it by helping community to find a job or by giving loan to the family affected to avoid the lock out.

4.Language barrier

It is not easy to familiarize with a new neighborhood when you are new, especially when you do not share the same language.

Our community suffered from this problem, they were getting sick and fear to go to the clinic because they could not be able to communicate with their physicians, some lost their benefits because of the language, they were given interview appointment letters or forms to renew their benefits and keep them in the closets or throw them away without reading them and due to that they failed to attend their interview appointments or fail to renew the benefits and lose them in that way.

Now UBUMWE help new comers to familiarize with the neighborhood and help them to go to the clinic when they sick and help to translate their correspondence and now the problem has been solved.