Pascal Baredste

As Interviewed by Stephen T., March 23, 2011
"We had the right to not be killed, and that was it... "
Pascal Baredste

Introductory Profile: About Pascal Baradste

Pascal Baradste was a refugee in Africa during the civil war. He was a Hutu, and because the Tutsi were in power, many people he knew were beaten or killed. His mom lived in Burundi, then moved to the Congo, and then they moved to Tanzania.

Pascal is a small-built 22 year-old African man who has a little trouble with English. The tragedy of his past barely shows through his sunny personality.

He was born on a refugee camp in the Congo, where he lived for the first 8 years of his life. Many people around him were taken for no reason to be imprisoned or killed. His move to Tanzania, where he would live for the next 10 years, gave him more rights. The refugees were protected from being killed, but still were in fear of being imprisoned and beaten. He was provided with an education. His family was given the opportunity to apply to move to America as refugees. Their application was accepted and they were among the over 1500 African refugees that have moved to America since 2007.

The story Pascal describes is a very tragic, sad story. This does not keep him from smiling all the time or laughing every so often. He speaks like he would in any regular conversation.

It would seem that he would never want to go back with the limited civil rights he had in Africa. Yet, in fact, he wishes to go visit sometime. He lives in his brother's house in East Austin with his mother, brother's family, and other family members. He has a job as an assistant at the State School in Austin working with the mentally handicapped. Pascal is a student at Austin Community College, working on his basics in the sciences so that he can pursue a degree in Pharmacy. His status in America is currently as a resident. However, he has dreams of one day becoming a full citizen.