Our Mission

Our Mission

The City of Refuge International Inc.’s primary purpose shall be to directly serve the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C) through the love of Christ by:

    • Caring for Orphans
    • Providing Microloans
    • Providing Crisis Relief
    • Funding Livestock Development
    • Feeding the Hungry
    • Supporting Agriculture
    • Offering Medical Services
    • Providing Humanitarian Aid
    • Promoting Sustainability
    • Providing Education & Training

Giving Hope Today Changes Lives Forever

Our Team

The City of Refuge International, Inc. is comprised of many people working together, reaching out in practical ways to touch the lives of the Congolese people. Current board and staff members are Richard Kitumba, Laurene Bates, Marie Wilson, Randy Stouts, Crissy Yarborough and Heidi Gaines.


Richard Banza Kitumba


Richard was born and raised in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and moved to North America at the age of 21. He attended the University of Oregon, where he earned a BA in Family and Human Services, a Master’s in Public Administration, and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management.

With a passion to empower the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo, he founded The City of Refuge International, Inc. in 2007. Since then, the organization has helped thousands of people in the DRC.

Richard has provided motivational speaking and Christian ministry in Europe, Africa, and North America, offering services to schools, businesses, and small groups. He currently lives in Springfield, Oregon with his wife and three children.

Laurene Hermann

Chairman of the Board

Laurene holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Washington University in Education and a Master of Science degree from the University of Oregon. Graduating in 1974 from Oregon, Laurene went on to work for the City of Eugene in several supervisory and mid-management positions. After leaving the City of Eugene, Laurene became a partner in the manufactured home industry from which she retired in 2000.

Laurene has a passion for education and has spearheaded City of Refuge’s scholarship program which provides scholarships for children in the Congo to attend high school and college. She was also instrumental in starting the clean well water program. After eight years on the City of Refuge Board, she is now chairman.

Crissy Yarborough

Marketing/Fundraising Coordinator


Crissy is a registered nurse and has worked at McKenzie Willamette Medical Center for 29 years. She grew up in Springfield, Oregon and continues to live there with her husband and two sons. Her passion for social justice has led her to marketing and fundraising for The City of Refuge International (CORI). She has a passion for child sponsorship, issues surrounding hunger, and women’s empowerment. Crissy developed Emilie’s Tea in honor of Emilie Kabamba Bulungo who, prior to her passing, was an integral part of CORI. Emilie was the mother of the founder of CORI and worked tirelessly to help her people living in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Twice a year women gather and honor Emilie by raising money for CORI.


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