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 12 years living in a refugee camp, where he completed his high school studies and met his wife. He now lives in Albuquerque where he works as a Community Refugee Mentor and Patient Care Technician (PCT) for the University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH). He earned his Bachelor’s degree in social work and is currently a MSW Candidate. He also works as a Research Assistant for the Refugee Well-Being Project, a research program of the University of New Mexico (UNM). He is a 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 advocate for them. He is a Council Board Member of the Office of Immigrants and Refugees Affairs located in Albuquerque Mayor’s office.
Word for US: Opportunity