Helping Hands and a Heart of Gold

Beatrice holding a toddler

Meet Beatrice Nyiramutuzo from Congo

Words cannot adequately express our admiration for Beatrice. With a captivating smile that lights up any room, she embodies kindness, intelligence, and unwavering dedication to her family. Boise is truly fortunate to have her presence.

Upon arriving in the Treasure Valley in 2011 with her three children—an eight-year-old son, a four-year-old son, and a six-month-old baby girl—Beatrice now oversees a household of four children. Grateful for her safety and the blessings of being in Boise, she acknowledges a higher purpose guiding her journey. “I give thanks to God that I’m here in Boise and my family is safe,” she said. “God has kept me alive and brought me here for a reason. He has a purpose for me.”

Help from EO to start her business

Despite facing challenges, Beatrice maintains a positive outlook on life. In 2014, she embarked on a new chapter by establishing her childcare business, supported by EO through training and essential supplies.

Presently, Beatrice cares for seven children who range in age from one to eight. She draws on her experience in Rwanda, where she relocated to after the Congo and looked after the children of affluent families. “I’ve always enjoyed helping and taking care of children,” she said.

Like so many others, Beatrice noted that the COVID-19 pandemic made it much harder to own a childcare business. “Parents are more worried for their kids now,” she said. “I only watched two children during the pandemic. I was not making enough money to take care of my own children. Mine was just another business that struggled during 2020.”

Early life in Congo

Growing up in Congo, Beatrice had six siblings. Today, they are spread out and live in places ranging from Denmark to Kentucky. Two of them even live near Beatrice in Boise. Both of her parents have passed away, and she was just six when her father died. As a child, Beatrice had to leave school to help her mother. Ultimately, she only got through four grades before leaving to help with chores and help take care of her siblings.

According to Beatrice, early memories of her mother continue to give her strength. “In the morning, my mom and I would sing and pray together. It’s a memory I keep with me that has helped me through difficult times,” she said. “My mother experienced many hardships in her life. My father died when I was young, and she raised sever kids on her own. When things get hard for me with my children, I often think ‘How can I be tired? I only have four kids.’ And I keep going.”

A dramatic departure from Congo to Rwanda

In 1996, when Beatrice was just seven years old, her family left Congo to go to Rwanda. It was no longer safe for them in their home country. She, her mother, and her siblings (six children at the time) escaped with other mothers and children on a truck late in the evening.

“I remember seeing ten and twelve-year-old children walking toward safety by themselves,” she said. “We went without food or water for three days while trying to escape. Someone even tried to kill my mother with a machete, but she ran away.”

During their escape, Beatrice recalls at times they had to sleep in small rooms packed with many people. In other instances, hundreds of people would be sleeping outside, which resulted in some dying. Yet at other times, Beatrice and her family were forced to hide in the jungle – an extremely scary experience for a young Beatrice.

Difficulties during the genocide

Beatrice lived in the refugee camp in Rwanda for 16 years. While she was there, she saw firsthand the Rwandan genocide and the senseless violence it entailed. “Neighbors were killing neighbors. My aunt, uncle, and cousin were killed because they were Tutsi,” she said. “I couldn’t comprehend why neighbors would kill each other because of the way God made them – because of their appearance. It felt like darkness had settled across the land.”

Waiting for her husband

After being without him for over ten years, Beatrice’s husband was finally able to join the family in Boise just recently. He had been living in the refugee camp where they first met along with Beatrice’s aunt and cousin. Unfortunately, bureaucratic delays and the lingering impacts of COVID greatly stalled his arrival to the United States.

Looking toward the future

When asked about her plans for the future, Beatrice noted her goals include getting her GED and improving her English. Now that her husband is with the family in Boise, she wants to buy a big house and start a larger childcare business.

As we celebrate the seventh anniversary of Beatrice’s business, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for the inspiration she brings through her remarkable story, resilience, and compassionate spirit. We’re so glad you are in Boise, Beatrice!