Alain Jean Claude Nahimana

BIDDEFORD – Alain Jean Claude Nahimana, the Visionary, Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center passed away peacefully at age 49, on Pentecost Sunday, May 31, 2020. Born in November 1970 in Bujumbura, Burundi, he was the son of Ambassador Balthazar Nahimana and Clemence Nahishakiye.Alain Jean Claude was educated in public, and private schools in Burundi, and Switzerland, and attended the University of Burundi for a bachelor’s degree in Economics. Alain Jean Claude moved to the United States in Portland, Maine in 2010. Prior to founding Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center, Alain served as the President of the Burundi Community Association and as the Coordinator of the Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition. Out of an idea of a co-working space, where immigrants and refugees could ‘be stronger together by working together’, Alain showcased his energy, talents and inherent leadership qualities. Enlisting the support of businesses, corporations, foundations, individual donors, students, non-profit organizations, entrepreneurs, artists and fellow immigrants, the Center opened in 2017 and was able to expand a year later. One need only to walk through the doors of the Center to feel uplifted and empowered.Alain Jean Claude, always a man of action and involvement, was a tireless advocate for immigrants, equality, social justice, and women rights. He was on the Board of various organizations including the National Partnership for New Americans, Youth and Family Outreach, Environmental Health Strategy Center, Maine Initiatives and Indigo Arts Alliance. He was a 2018 MaineBiz Next Leader and was selected as one of Maine Magazine’s 50 People in 2019. He was an example of what vision and determination can accomplish.Alain Jean Claude, also known as Claude or Alain by his family and close friends, had a charm, infectious laugh, kind heart, and compassion that made him easy to love. In addition to the passion for his work, Claude’s greatest joy was spending time with his family and friends. He was a devoted father, son, brother, uncle and friend. He enjoyed reading, writing, dressing up, fine dining, a well-poured Guinness, and his Mercedes. Alain Jean Claude is survived by his mother, Clemence Nahishakiye of San Diego, California, and three sons and a daughter: Arnaud Nahimana, Kevin Nahimana, Nelson Nahimana of Biddeford, Maine and Princess Nahimana of Kigali, Rwanda. He is also survived by three siblings: two sisters Aline Mutagorama of Dakar, Senegal, and Christine Nahimana of Los Angeles, California, and a brother, Didier Nahimana of San Diego, California. He also had numerous nieces, nephews and an extensive network of family and friends who are mourning his untimely loss. He will forever be missed, and his legacy will last forever.Numerous celebrations of his life and legacy will be held including a virtual event hosted by the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center on June 5, an evening led by Faith Leaders on June 10, and an evening of honor featuring State and Local Leaders in addition to family members on June 12. Viewing, and funeral services will be private due to COVID-19 restrictions. Alain Jean Claude Nahimana will be laid to rest beside his father in San Diego, California at the Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery.Arrangements entrusted to Hobbs Funeral Home, South Portland. Online condolences may be expressed at http://www.hobbsfuneralhome.com.

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