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A universal language: African refugees finding support, resources through music

Local organization looking for community support in raising funds for gospel group.
Posted at 2:12 PM, Oct 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-14 15:12:41-04
  • Gospel Elevation Talent of Africa (GETA) is a program supporting Christian African refugee musicians. The group started Aug. 26 and looks to perform in several locations across Northeast Wisconsin
  • GETA is under an organization called Refugee Youth and Adult Empowerment Initiative (RYAEI). The mission is to provide youth and adult refugees with resources as they adapt to life in the U.S.
  • The organization is calling for community support to help raise money to purchase instruments for the gospel group.

From the Republic of Congo in Africa, a group of refugees has found a support group in Green Bay.
The universal language of music is one way the group brings people from throughout the continent together in fellowship in Northeast Wisconsin.

Maurice Joshua is all about making a difference

"We can make a change, let's make a change," Joshua said. "Our mission is to change the world and to change the world we have to start with our community."

With the help of his brother, Quenche, and two others, Carmel and Lajoie, Refugee Youth and Adult Empowerment Initiative, or RYAEI was created.

Maurice and his family are from the Republic of Congo.

After war struck the country, his family was placed in a refugee camp in Uganda and eventually received the call that some of them would be coming to the U.S.

Some of his other siblings went to countries in Europe.

Now they are giving back to people in similar situations.

Gospel Elevation Talent of Africa (GETYA) is under RYAEI. It is a gospel group featuring Africans from across northeast Wisconsin.

Green Bay Community Church is the first place the group performed and Faith Lutheran Church in Appleton is where the group commonly rehearses.

GETA started on Aug. 26 and the group already has close to 20 people.

For Quenche, it's all about supporting others and spreading African heritage.

"Living as a refugee is not easy," Quenche said. "Coming here, its pretty hard, its better to have someone that can walk you through how things are moving here."

Now the group is leaning on community support. The group created a GoFundMe to purchase instruments of their own.

"In Africa, we have hundreds of languages and I feel like music and dance is one of those hundred languages," Joshua said. "If you speak that language, feel free to join us."

You can access GETA's GoFundMe here.

Click hereto access more information on the organization and how to particiapte in the group's outreach.