International Institute of New England Profile: Boubacar
By: Dan Soucy, International Institute of New England
The International Institute of New England creates opportunities for refugees and immigrants to succeed through resettlement, education, career advancement and pathways to citizenship.
Southern New Hampshire, despite its reputation as a fairly homogenous and unchanging community, has a
rich, vibrant and diverse community of refugees in particular. As we all reflect on what it means to be a community during this pandemic and current conversations regarding race, it is particularly beneficial to consider our community’s diverse array of stories. With that said, please enjoy indulging in life from Boubacar’s perspective and experience through his story.
Upon arriving in the United States in 2019 from Senegal, Boubacar discovered that adjusting to the United State’s employment and case management environment could be challenging and at times, mentally taxing. Without many social connections or relationships in the United States, he utilized the connections and support that he found through the International institute of New England.
However, by quickly connecting with the International Institute of New England when he arrived here, Boubacar found that he has had support with the different phases of integration, such as “learning the American language”. The International Institute has not only supported him in his search for employment, but he also found a job that he loves, at Wiley Road Foods in Manchester. When Boubacar lived in Senegal, he worked at a pastry shop in which he achieved his diploma. Thus, when he came to America, he dreamed of working in a pastry shop again. The opportunity at Wiley Road Foods allows Boubacar to “be independent”, even providing “shelter over his head” and assistance to his family. Boubacar wants to shout out the team at IINE for “their availability and support.”
As for the Manchester community, Boubacar says in his experience the community is “very open.” Boubacar has found that people even outside of IINE do their best to support him as he seeks to connect with the local community. Specifically, the Manchester companies and small businesses he has interacted with are “very understanding” to his acclimation process and help him to gain invaluable professional experiences in a variety of fields. Boubacar hopes that he continues to experience support in feeling safe and healthy throughout his time here.
Boubacar plans to “study to improve (his) daily life”, hopefully at a pastry school in the United States and ultimately open his own pastry business. He is extremely grateful for the Manchester community’s support and emphasizes the need for the business community in particular to support refugee resettlement. Although it can sometimes be challenging to navigate cultural and linguistic differences, it not only makes a substantive difference in the lives of these individuals but also creates a more supportive environment for all of our workers, friends and colleagues.
If you or someone you know are looking for employees, please consider reaching out to Daniel Soucy, firstname.lastname@example.org, the International Institute’s employment specialist.