We’ve felt lucky to be working with Selemani through the disruption of our recent move. He’s adept at maneuvering large freezers and ovens on and off Uhauls and into tight spaces. He arrived in the US in 2017.
As a widower and single parent of 4, he faces some unique challenges: one son is deaf (now attending RI School for the Deaf), one daughter is being treated for sickle cell anemia. The age gaps between his children require multiple schools and multiple trips to the bus stop. Finding the right employment has proved challenging.
Selemani lost both his parents back in DRC when he was young. He was working as a truck driver when people from neighboring villages passed through, fleeing dangerous people. He took some belongings and left. The camp in Burundi where he settled initially lacked food and even the most basic shelter, but that was where he got married and had his children.
In the kitchen, Selemani enjoys laughing and joking. He absolutely beams when talking about his children and their future. He’s thankful for plentiful food and the opportunities in front of them that he did not have. He said he used his first stipend checks to buy chairs for his family. He’s glad to be gaining experience and the good references that will help him find the right job to support his family.