Kyogle's new Congolese residents adjusting to new life
WHEN Kyogle's five newest residents from the Democratic Republic of Congo started at school last week, they were a little curious at what their aunt had put in their lunch box.
"I had put salad in their lunch box to eat and they asked me why I had given them uncooked leaves," their aunt Denise Ottley of Kyogle laughed.
"Only one of them would try it, the others didn't."
The boys - twins Mbo and Mpia, 17, Jeremie, 14 and Samuel, 11 - and their sister Labelle, 19, have recently come from an orphanage in the capital, Kinshasa, to live with their aunt and her husband, Ian.
"Conditions there were very bad and there was a lot of war," Ms Ottley said.
"There was not much food and the children worked in the gardens to grow food."
On their second day at Kyogle High, English as a second language teacher Tony Narvo was teaching them the basics.
"You don't realise there are at least 10 ways to say 'How are you?' in English like 'How's it going?', 'How are you doing?'," he said.
Through very limited English on their part and limited French on this reporter's part, the children described how excited they were to come here.
"It's very good to learn English," Mpia said.
"There is a lot of food here like salad, fruit, meat and sandwiches."
The children described how they liked to play soccer, basketball, rugby and handball and they were slowly making friends in their new home.
Janet Wilson said the priest in charge of the orphanage the children came from, Father Aurelien, ran five orphanages.
"We would like him to be able to come to Australia to learn more about youth services," she said.
If you would like to donate to help him come out, make a deposit to RealArtWorks that works to develop arts projects with marginalised groups.
Bank details to donate are:
Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Kyogle Branch
Account Name: RealArtWorks Inc
BSB No: 062563
Account No: 10099033