Born in Kulumbi, DRC, Elelwa had childhood goals for a better life. She went to school until 6th grade, then started work at 12. When she was 19, men came to her house and killed her brother-in-law. Her husband jumped out of the window and she ran with her 1 month old in her arms. In Goma, a priest helped them get to a camp Tanzania but it was full, so they found another in Malawi where they lived for 9 years.
Asked how it felt to be in Rhode Island, Elelwa says that she is happy. The family lives in a small apartment, but it is a start.
Elelwa’s attempts to find a job haven’t worked out, so she came to Beautiful Day to “learn the basics and get some confidence in her abilities.” She feels hopeful making granola. “We are a team, we are all refugees and we help each other.” She says she can now start thinking about her childhood goals again: a house to live in, a car, plus an education for her children.