Latter-day Saint Life

LDS Ward Teams Up to Give Refugee Mom & Kids a Complete Home Makeover


MR says: What a beautiful example of loving others and following the First Presidency's charge to help in any way we can with the refugee crisis. It might surprise you how many refugees live in your cities, your neighborhoods, and even your wards and how much you can make a difference just by reaching out.

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.

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Members of the Fox Hollow LDS Ward in Saratoga Springs, in cooperation with the Utah Refugee Center and the Granite Education Foundation, refurbish a home for the Biyanke family in Salt Lake City, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

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.

Lead image from Deseret News.

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