Location: Mtendeli Refugee Camp, Tanzania
Etienne was born a refugee in the Mutabili refugee camp in Tanzania in 1993. He completed primary school there and eventually repatriated to Burundi with his family in 2008. Etienne was then sent to boarding school to complete his secondary school education, but face many challenges and difficult living circumstances. When Etienne returned home from boarding school to visit his family, he found that they had fled to Tanzania. Although he tried to stay in Burundi for some time, he was living a life of poverty and violence around him was increasing, which caused him to also flee to Tanzania. Etienne completed his secondary schooling in Mtendeli.
Etienne loves soccer and has played since childhood. He plays on multiple teams in the Mtendeli camp and has a reputation for being one of the star players in the camps. Even growing up Etienne was always picked first by team captains. Etienne likes being a RUSA coach because he wants to help children love soccer as much as he does. When he is coaching his players, he sees them smile and have fun, which gives him joy and purpose. When he passes through his community, children run up to him calling him ‘coach’ and he is proud to be known as a RUSA coach. He enjoys working with his fellow coaches and sees that parents enjoy watching their children participate in the program.
While Etienne plans to continue coaching soccer everywhere he does, he dreams of attending university to study history and to eventually become a history professor. He hopes to relocate to Canada or Australia someday where he wants to write books and teach others.