Ten weeks ago we met Lydia and her wonderful smile...so full of energy and optimism that it is contagious. We are happy she is here!
Lydia joined Prosperity Candle in October after resettling to the United States from a refugee camp in Burundi 8 months before. Born in the Congo, Lydia and her family were forced to flee their home when she was just 2 years old to escape escalating violence. They eventually found safety in a refugee camp in neighboring Burundi, but conditions were poor and overcrowded with limited freedoms.
Then in February 2018, Lydia and her family were offered the opportunity to resettle in the U.S.... here in western Massachusetts where they could start anew and begin to create a brighter future.
With every candle poured and gift wrapped, we see Lydia moving closer to her dreams. Here is a glimpse into her life!
1. Lydia, can you tell us a little about your family?
I have 5 brothers. I am the only girl of my siblings and am the 4th child. I grew up in a town called Goma. I was 2 years old when I left, but sometimes my mother and father told me about the history of the Congo and Goma. I lived in Burundi in a refugee camp for 17 years.
2. Are there any happy memories you want to share from your family or from when you were a kid?
I had nice neighbors who were young, old, and my age. I liked to go to school and then go home to watch my 3 brothers. In the camp I worked. Sometimes people would come to my house and I would braid their hair. My mom is my best friend! She braids my hair and I braid her hair.
3. What is it like making candles at Prosperity Candle?
My manager is very nice! It’s a good place and I am so surprised for this job that it is just women artisans and no men. I like it!
4. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?
I like to cook and clean my house. There are no strawberries or blueberries in my country, and I tried it here and now I love it! I like cooking spinach and rice. I cook at home on the weekend and my brothers cook too. They’re very nice! They help me.
5. Do you have a favorite TV show or movie you like to watch?
I like to watch TV shows for kids and on the weekends sometimes I watch a movie. I recently saw Sophie from Mamma Mia and I love it!
6. What do you like the most about living in the United States?
It’s very peaceful and second, I am so excited to go to school and for my younger brother to go to school. I go to the Center for New Americans to learn English. When I finish this class I can take my GED exam.
7. Were you surprised by anything when you first arrived?
My first day here in the United States was very hard because it was February and it was very cold. There was frosty snow!
8. Do you have any dreams or hopes?
My dream is to be a nurse.
If you enjoyed hearing Lydia's story send her a message welcoming her or share her story with a friend! Who knows... maybe you also love the movie Mamma Mia!