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Fisto Photo 2

Fisto Ndayishimiye stands before a map of the Concord Heights where his activism is taking root.

When Fisto Ndayishimiye and his younger brother, Alex, first arrived in New Hampshire from their native African country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, six years ago, he realized he had a lot to learn if he hoped to realize the American Dream.

At 24, Fisto is making Concord Heights a better place to live for the many refugee families who settled there. Recently, he worked with the Concord City Council to install lights at the soccer field at Keach Park to give young people a safe place to play at night.

The soccer field lights are just one example of several things that are needed in The Heights to make this Concord neighborhood safer and more welcoming, Fisto believes. He would like to get city leaders to do more community outreach, so they can better understand what is needed to help refugee families.

In addition to being a community organizer, Fisto takes communication classes at the New Hampshire Community Technical Institute and plans to attend Southern New Hampshire University to further his education. He wants to earn a B.A. in communications and then go on to law school. The freedom that he enjoys as a New Hampshire resident presents him with the opportunity to pursue these goals.

“I do think that we also have a responsibility to learn how to be part of the community. I am trying to teach them to get involved in their community and learn more about being involved in the community,” Fisto says.

By bringing refugee families and Concord officials together, Fisto believes the city and the Granite State will gain many valued citizens.

603 D Feb23 C1This article is featured in the spring 2023 issue of 603 Diversity.

603 Diversity’s mission is to educate readers of all backgrounds about the exciting accomplishments and cultural contributions of the state’s diverse communities, as well as the challenges faced and support needed by those communities to continue to grow and thrive in the Granite State.

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