Meet a quota refugee – Kavira, born in 1994 in Goma, DR Congo

"The day my family and I found out that we would get to go to Sweden, we were so happy that we just started screaming. We made such a noise that the neighbours came in and wondered what was happening. But they understood that we were screaming with joy."

Kavira

– At first, life was good in Congo. Then the problems came, the conflicts and the enemies just kept coming. My mother’s grandfather was king and there were many who wanted to get him off the throne. Several of my relatives were killed and my father was kidnapped. In order not to meet the same fate, myself and the rest of the family fled to Uganda. We were sheltered in the refugee camp in Kampala as the enemies could also come after us. There were sometimes people outside the camp who would scream at us to go home to Congo. The fear of being killed did not disappear, but we had a roof over our heads and I made friends and had an everyday life.

– Although it was tough times in the camp, we were protected and many families were in a similar situation. The majority came from Congo, but there were also refugees from Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda. Many were given the opportunity to travel on elsewhere, including Canada and the USA. Of course, I was happy for their sake, but also sad. Being the one who was left behind was hard, but after nine years it was our turn. The day my family and I found out that we would go to Sweden, we were so happy that we just started screaming. We made such a noise that the neighbours came in and wondered what was happening. But they understood that we were screaming with joy.

– Here in Sweden we have freedom. I have what I need and can do what I want. I have food, a flat, friends and can study. The only thing that is difficult is the language. When I was young, I wanted to be a pilot but now I’m gunning for my dream to work as a case officer at the Swedish Migration Agency. I want to study different problems and situations in the world in order to then be able to decide whether people get to stay or not. I had that dream in Uganda when I met all the people in the refugee camp and heard about their problems. I am now studying care and welfare but later on I will try to study law and learn more about other people. One day I would also like to visit Nairobi in Kenya and other countries in the world.

Only a few of the world’s refugees become so­-called quota refugees

Since 1950, Sweden has a resettlement programme with the aim of providing protection to the most vulnerable. Those offered resettlement in Sweden as quota refugees are selected by the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR. When a refugee is offered resettlement through the programme, the person gets a safe passage to Sweden and an organised reception. Each year, the Government/Parliament allocates funds for the Swedish Migration Agency to resettle between 1,700 and 5,000 quota refugees. Today, approximately 27 countries receive quote refugees on an annual basis.

Read more about the Swedish refugee quota on the Swedish Migration Agency’s website.

Last updated: 2018-10-05

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