Categories: Family Stories, Habitat Tucson

The Bashikire Family

Pierre and his wife Clothilde brought their two youngest daughters to Tucson in 2007 after fleeing conflicts in three different countries in Africa for more than thirty years.

“We left our home in Burundi when war came in 1973. We lived in a refugee camp in Tanzania. War came to Tanzania so we moved to Rwanda. When the ethnic cleansing began in Rwanda, we fled back to Tanzania.”

Today, Clothilde works as a housekeeper at Residence Inn and Pierre works for Christ Church United Methodist. The church also provides free housing to Pierre and his family in return for the work he does on campus. Once they were settled in Tucson, Pierre and Clothilde began to dream about a home for their two youngest daughters, Emmanuelina and Devota.

“I won’t be able to work forever and I don’t want the government to have to pay for my housing,” Pierre said.

Because he qualifies for Habitat’s program, Pierre will have a permanent, safe home for the first time since he first fled his war-torn home in Burundi, nearly 40 years ago.

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