Marie comes from Masisi, D R Congo, in the foothills of the Virunga Mountains. It is 50 miles from the regional capital, Goma, on the border of Rwanda.
Marie has happy childhood memories of playing with friends
and singing with a church group. Masisi is known for cheese,
and her family owned cows. Marie went to school until the 6th
grade when her mother died. After that she was responsible
for farming and tending to the cows.
She was married at 20, and had 4 children before civil war
forced her family to flee. They had to leave their homes in a
beautiful place for a makeshift camp in Rwanda, with nothing
other than the zipper of a canvas tent for protection. In fact,
armed militia overran that camp and killed many, including
Marie’s brother, and they fled again. In the new camp, her
family eventually built a structure to live in. They had 6 more
children before she came to Rhode Island. Two of Marie’s
children have died, 2 are still in the refugee camp waiting, 4 are
with her, and 2 have found jobs in Kentucky. She is now
planning to move the family to Kentucky.
Marie started the training at BD after struggling in job
interviews. She really likes the people at BD and making
granola, and her English is improving. She says she’s learned
the importance of being on time and not missing days, and will
take this with her to Kentucky.