State: New Mexico
City of Residence: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Country of origin: Burundi
Arrival in the U.S.: 2007
Mr. Martin Ndayisenga is a Burundian refugee who was resettled to New Mexico with his wife in 2007. He was just ten years old when he was separated from his parents and was forced to flee to neighboring Tanzania to escape escalating ethnic conflict in 1995. He spent 15 years living in a refugee camp, where he completed his high school studies and meet his wife. He now lives in Albuquerque where he works as a refugee mentor and nurse technician for the University of New Mexico Hospital. He earned his associate’s degree in social work and is currently a BSW Candidate. He also works as a research assistant for the Refugee Well-Being Project, a research program of the University of New Mexico. He is also the co-founder and current secretary of the Association of Burundian Americans in New Mexico (ABANM). Mr. Ndayisenga believes it is important for people to be aware of the plight of refugees, and to stand up and help them. He is most proud of contributing to his community by serving as a mediator between refugee resettlement agencies and the refugee population.
Word for US: Opportunity