Meet James

Meggean Ward

James was 11 when he left Maryland, Liberia to stay with his aunt in a refugee camp in Cote d’Ivoire. He arrived in RI in November of 2019 along with his aunt, grandma, uncle and cousin. His parents are still in Liberia. At first he thought Rhode Island was brutally cold. But the next day the resettlement agency dropped off a winter coat and the apartment heat was turned on. Phew! James was really looking forward to school since schools in the camp were not good. Sadly, he missed the age cut off for high school so he’s studying for...

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Meet Welde

Meggean Ward

Welde, originally from Liberia, joined her extended family here in Rhode Island in December of 2019. Welde is 18 and is now studying for the GED, but she knew she needed to work in order to help her family with bills and rent. She sought help at our partner agency (Dorcas International Institute) and then joined our training program. Welde’s prior work experience was as a nanny in Cote D’Ivoire so she was looking for help with things like time management, following schedules, and being part of a team in order be ready for the local job market. Welde is...

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Meet Elisabet

Meggean Ward

Elisabet remembers Shemelba Refugee Camp (Ethiopia) as a place without a curfew “where we could play and hang out with other kids.” Life was slower, though food limited and there was a long walk for water. But weddings would last for a week—1 day for the wedding, then celebration, music and dancing. She’s clearly had to wrestle with expectations. She’d been told America is clean, safe and had good opportunities, yet discovered there is racism and too much violence. Their last landlord never fixed anything so they had rodents and a leaky roof.Elisabet, who is Kunama from Eritrea, often felt...

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Meet Bertha

Meggean Ward

Bertha’s family resettled in Rhode Island when she was 15. The camp where she grew up in Malawi was a place without enough food, water, or clothing. People would often wear the same thing for weeks at a time. Water scarcity led to fights. Yet the camp was also a community.Bertha talks about her program cohort as if they are family. She knows she can be hard on herself. But she believes that the experience of reaching out to a group and receiving their support has helped her trust herself. At the farmers’ markets she learned that she can overcome...

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Meet Monique

Meggean Ward

One program Beautiful Day started piloting this year involves job training for a few teenage refugee students who want to learn how help pay the family bills. We’re proud to introduce Ingabire Monique who first learned about Beautiful Day because her father started his career as a trainee. For the last few months she’s been helping run the farmers’ market. Monique was born in a camp in Tanzania and grew up along with 5 siblings in another camp in Mozambique. Her childhood memories are a window into what millions of warehoused refugees experience: “You don’t know where your next meal...

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Meet Yonas

Meggean Ward

Meet Yonas! He is Kunama, an indigenous group of ancient ancestry in Eritrea. Born in a camp in Ethiopia, Yonas’ family resettled in the United States when he was 6.Yonas learned to love school and feels driven to do his best. His advice for us is to grow this program: “Refugee kids really need these experiences.” He especially enjoyed production In the kitchen and participating in a job-interview event led by Starbucks.Yonas plans to attend URI in the fall and major in engineering. He still hopes to apply everything he learned in a summer job. Like the rest of us,...

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