Antoine was born in Burundi, where he finished high school with high hopes for more education. Then civil war broke out, forcing him to flee to Cote D’Ivoire. Determined to continue his studies, he eventually received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Human Rights Law. He also started a successful printing business. But he was moved by the suffering he had seen in the war and was determined to help. He joined the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) where he worked on a nutrition project to combat hunger and researched the plight of kidnapped children being turned into child soldiers in Chad. Antoine is proud of the work he did at JRS. But it was dangerous in Chad and when he got accepted to the US as a refugee, he chose resettlement.
Antoine came to Rhode Island in 2010. He discovered Beautiful Day while providing interpreting services for refugees interviewing for our job training program. He says his mission is “to help refugees have a new life.” Antoine still works part-time at Beautiful Day. His full-time job is at Edesia, makers of Plumpy’Nut, a nutritional supplement that has saved the lives of millions of malnourished children worldwide. Antoine’s work at Edesia brings his work at JRS full circle.
Antoine is married to Isabelle, a refugee who also attended Beautiful Day’s job training program, and has three children, two boys and a baby girl who was born just last week. Congratulations Antoine!