Meet Antoine

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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...

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Meet Elizabeth

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Elizabeth grew up in the area of Harper, a coastal city that was once part of The Republic of Maryland (US Colony) but now belongs to Liberia. Elizabeth is work-smart. She’s motivated and jumps into tasks. She attentively welcomes everyone to our kitchen and it’s obvious that our team of trainees and staff respect her presence and work ethic. She told us that she grew up understanding the value of work. As one of the oldest of 7 siblings being raised by an elderly grandmother, she was tasked with doing pretty much “everything”: cooking, laundry, taking her grandmother by canoe...

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Meet Selemani

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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...

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Meet Daniel

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Like several of the youth in our current job training cohort, Daniel is ethnically Kunama. Originally his family is from Eritrea, although he was born in Ethiopia. He’s very chill with a sly sense of humor that the whole cohort appreciates. That time of leaving Ethiopia is a bit of a blur—he was around 7 or 8 and remembered being confused about where they were going. He arrived in Providence with his mom and younger brother and started school with his cousin Hayle (also in this cohort). Daniel did not feel like he was treated differently because he was from...

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Meet Dahaba

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Dahaba was born in the village of Whenehebe, where her family stayed on their way from Eritrea to the Shemelba camp in Ethiopia. (This camp is in the Tigray region, where there is currently significant unrest.) She was resettled in Providence along with her siblings, aunt, and grandmother. If you’ve seen the documentary called Home Across Lands, then you’ve already met Dahaba’s 5-year-old self! Dahaba loves her life in America but also recognizes that we are surrounded by myths. She questions the American Dream because she sees members of her family working terribly hard but not ‘getting ahead.’ Yet, she also...

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Meet Mauwa

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Mauwa grew up in a camp in Tanzania where her parents and grandmother had fled from the DR Congo. While she has fond memories of cousins and special games in the camp, she also experienced the loss of her mother to illness and her grandmother who chose to return to DRC rather than resettlement. Mauwa arrived in RI, speaking no English, in February 2016 along with her 7 siblings, father and step-mother. She is now 16, attends the RI Nurses Charter School and considers the loss of her mother as her inspiration to become a nurse and help those who...

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