Celestin arrived in Pittsburgh as a refugee from the Congo via Uganda, where he lived in a refugee settlement camp from 1997 to 2018. Celestin fled the Congo at age twelve. As a student in the Ugandan refugee settlement, Celestin joined and started a development organization, COBURWAS, that has grown into an international group for refugee youth advancement. He received a secondary school diploma in project management in the Ugandan school system. Celestin and his wife have four elementary-age children and work full time in Crafton, PA. Celestin’s passion is advocating for refugees. He understands the challenges and successes of refugees and how his social activism has been informed by his experiences. Celestin’s advocacy and experience informs his participation in this oral history project and the importance of oral history for refugees in America.
Celestin is a community partner and refugee advocate who also creates multimedia content for the site.