A Community Comes Together: Supporting Integration of Newly Arrived Congolese Refugees through Empowerment and Facilitating Young Children’s Readiness for School


This collaborative project will focus on Congolese refugee families and their young children in Guilford County. The P2 and advisory teams will aim to better understand disparities of access to early childhood educational services and English-learning opportunities among this population. It is hoped that this work will shed light on how Congolese refugee children have fared in learning before and during the pandemic, and how future success in preschoolers’ readiness for kindergarten maybe uncovered through dialogue and brainstorming. Discussions with the community may also lead to approaches for young children to attend preschool settings or engage in learning experiences within the home that naturally flow from culturally relevant practices and interactions, particularly in the areas of literacy. Furthermore, this work will investigate issues surrounding why the families rarely participate in opportunities that boost their English language skills. Dialogue with community partners and families may lead to opportunities and approaches that better match these needs.

Team Members:

  • Rachel Boit, Assistant Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, UNCG
  • Claudine Mbangu, Resident Cultural Broker, Greensboro
  • Linda Hestenes, Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, UNCG
  • Dorothy Muhoro, RN3 BSN PCCN Congregational Nurse, Cone Health & New Arrivals Institute
  • Helene Mwadi, Resident Cultural Broker, Greensboro
  • Lynn Thompson, Community Engagement Director, New Arrivals Institute
  • Joi Bulls, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs, Health and Human Sciences, AP Associate Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, UNCG