Meet Afuwa

Beautiful Day

Afuwa was born in a village in Congo called Baraka. Her parents were teachers and she was the youngest of three children. She left Congo when she was 5 to end up in a refugee camp in Burundi.  This was a terrible period for her family. She was at the camp for 17 years and came to RI in 2022 with her children, ages 16, 14, 10 and 2. She was very nervous about leaving and what life would be like in the USA. She giggles a bit when she says that she was surprised when they landed in the...

Read more

Meet Zainab

Beautiful Day

Zainab was born in Aleppo, Syria and has fond memories of school, friends, and neighbors until the war came and “ruined everything.” She was 12, and the eldest of 6. At first, war was in the distance, but then it arrived with all its terror, and life changed. No school. No electricity. Limited water. Missile strikes. A neighbor’s house hit. She felt sick all the time. She recalls a candle falling while they were filling oil lamps and then the room was on fire. She saved her younger brother, and her father and the neighbors put the fire out. After...

Read more

Meet Evon

Beautiful Day

Evon, her parents, and 5 siblings fled Iraq for Jordan in 2003. They arrived in the US in 2008. She laughs remembering what her sister Vivian (who also worked at Beautiful Day) said when she could not find Rhode Island on a map. “There must not be many people there, so they need our big family!” Evon has been with Beautiful Day since the beginning. On a recent warm day sitting outside on our patio, she spoke of meeting Keith at an International Institute event in 2008. She had prepared the food and he really enjoyed it. He asked what...

Read more

Meet Nyota

Beautiful Day

We love having a cross-generational team in our kitchen. It’s especially fun when young people join us and quickly land on their feet. Nyota is a delightful young woman who grew up in Tanzania after her parents fled the DR Congo. Nyota recalls life in the Nyarugusu refugee camp as difficult. She attended school, but as the eldest of 6 siblings, her enduring memories are of not enough food and walking long distances to carry water. Despite all the unknowns and the new language, she was happy to leave the camp and was optimistic about her new life in Rhode...

Read more

Meet Ajax

Beautiful Day

Ajax may be the youngest in our youth program, but he carries himself with a calm poise that is direct, open, curious, and charming. He asks questions and looks people in the eye. He’s done his Beautiful Day internship at a local non-profit called Harvest Kitchen where he’s already been promoted to a supervisor role—we’re quite proud of this. Ajax was born in Mozambique where his parents had fled from the war in DR Congo. He grew up speaking Swahili at home and Portuguese at school; once he moved to Providence, he learned Spanish, then English. He remembers his village school being...

Read more

Meet Amina

Beautiful Day

Amina was born in Aleppo, Syria. Although there were signs of war during her childhood, Amina felt safe with her family. But when the house next door was hit by a shell, the family fled. They smuggled themselves to Istanbul, Turkey, where her father opened a grocery store. School in Istanbul cost money, so only Amina’s younger siblings were enrolled, and her schooling ended at 4th grade. At 9 she began to work alongside her mother. She was sad, but realized there were other young girls in her situation. Amina came to love Istanbul and thought of it as home....

Read more