‘Beautiful Partnership’ Provides Home Makeover for Refugee Mom and Kids

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LDS ward gives new home
Image via deseretnews.com

This article was originally written by Marjorie Cortez and Chris Larson for the Deseret News. The following is an excerpt. 

Born in a refugee camp in Rwanda, Cosette Biyanke learned early in life about the worst of mankind after experiencing the horrors of civil war.

Many years later and some 9,000 miles from her family’s homeland of Burundi, Biyanke and her two children started life anew in Salt Lake City in 2014 after being resettled in Virginia in 2010

“It’s not easy for me, but I’m trying and hoping that their life will be better than mine,” Biyanke says of her children.

On Saturday, Biyanke experienced some of the best qualities of humankind — compassion and generosity.

Her tiny home, one-bedroom house that dates back to 1906 got a massive makeover thanks to an LDS Church ward from Saratoga Springs, the Utah Refugee Center, the Granite Education Foundation, LDS Humanitarian Center and a host of generous business partners.

When she arrived and saw her renovated home and yard for the first time Saturday evening, Biyanke was all smiles as about 20 volunteers lined up outside and applauded her. Some of those volunteers had tears in their eyes as they showed her what changes had been made.

Read the full article at deseretnews.com.

Kylie is a writer at LDS.net and graduate of BYU with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She grew up in a Chicago suburb where she gained a passion for the Chicago Cubs. She enjoys writing and live event video production.