This holiday season, the Statesman published an article speaking about one of our beloved former Casa families: Deogratias Niyongabo, 38, his wife, Françoise Irankunda, 39, and their two daughters, Esther, 5, and Brianna, 3, from Burundi.
Deogratis and Françoise, who moved into their own apartment with their children after leaving Casa Marianella, were gifted new, beautiful furniture this holiday season as part of the Statesman’s Season for Caring program. The family received a new living room, dining room and bedroom furniture from Austin’s Couch Potatoes.
Notes from the Statesman article:
“Everyone deserves a warm and soft place to rest at the end of the day, and we feel privileged to provide it. Our goal at Austin’s Couch Potatoes is to be a business that the city of Austin can depend on in times of need.”
“For Niyongabo, the new furniture means that eventually they will be able to have friends over and have somewhere for them to sit.”
We couldn’t be more thankful and appreciative for The Statesman and Austin’s Couch Potatoes for their incredible generosity. This coming year, Deogratis and Françoise plan to continue to take English lessons at Austin Community College and get the skills training they need to grow their careers. In Burundi, they both had college educations, which unfortunately do not translate in the US.
Words from our Co-Executive Director, Patti McCabe:
“Françoise and Esther stayed at Posada Esperanza in 2017 when Françoise was pregnant with Brianna. Françoise and Deogratis always showed so much concern for the other families in spite of their own needs. It was in their nature, due to their work back in Africa helping to empower women in refugee camps. Deogratis stayed at Casa and found a job at Taste of Ethiopia. Françoise babysat children of other Posada families. They were a sweet and grateful couple. They stayed at Posada for 5 months and then moved into an apartment (Goodwin) with two other Posada families.
Casa/Posada is a stepping stone for many families like Françoise and Deo. They come to us penniless, homeless, disoriented. With us, they are able to gain health insurance, some work, legal assistance, access medical care, and build strong ties within the community. However, there is still work to be done in their journey. It is great to see such a wonderful family finding support along the rest of their journey so that they can continue to build safety, comfort, and opportunity for their family.”
Originally published by Casa Marianella: Source