On December 24, 1989, life for Joseph changed forever.
A civil war that was to last 14 years with over 250,000 lives lost began.
Like a frightened child, Joseph became separated from his parents and ended up living in the jungle. Eventually, Joseph found the help that was to see him flee to the neighboring Ivory Coast.
Rather than finding safety and sanctuary he'd expected, Joseph discovered a life of hostility and violence as the Ivorian authorities considered him an unwanted guest in their country.Unable to accept the violence of daily life in the Ivory Coast, Joseph managed to travel to Guinea after his Secondary education.Even here life was not without its dangers and risks for Joseph. He was arrested and held in solitary confinement with little food or water following rebel border incursions. Joseph was eventually released without charge.
While living in Guinea, Joseph continued his education and worked to help others with their language skills.It was while living in Guinea that Joseph found happiness when he met and married his wife.Joseph nearly suffered another tragedy when his baby daughter was struck down with Malaria as a result of the harsh living conditions they were experiencing in the refugee camp.
This neared tragedy forced Joseph to make a tough decision. He and his wife applied for asylum through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in late 2002 and were accepted by the Norwegian government through UDI. On October 1, 2003,
Joseph and his family were resettled in Leknes on the Lofoten Island where they spent four years before moving to Oslo.
Today Joseph uses the horrors of war and the experiences of his life as a refugee to
help others change their lives for the better