Bienfait, whose parents fled DR Congo, was born in Tanzania,
but grew up in Burundi where his parents fled when he was a
toddler. Like so many of the youth we’ve worked with, he
treasures memories of playing outside with many friends:
soccer with bare feet, kites, fun at a big lake, frogs jumping!
And yes, it was sunny all the time!
Resettling to Rhode Island when he was 9 involved adjusting
expectations. He’d been told it was “the best place in the
world.” But third grade without knowing English is hard. A tiny
apartment for a family of 7 feels cramped when it’s not safe to
He’s adjusted. Bienfait is now in 10th grade at Blackstone
Academy. He likes English, Math and History. His teachers
make it fun to learn.
The other challenge Bienfait shared was about racism. He
knows it’s unfair that he has to be so aware of his behavior and
words because of his skin color. He also knows this is part of
the black American experience. He hopes things can change
but wonders if they will.
Bienfait’s siblings went through Beautiful Day’s program and
brought home granola. Now he brings home granola and it is
gone before he gets to have any. He sees that the program is
teaching him the importance of communication, about
employers’ expectations, and to balance school, work, family