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LEADERSHIP AND EMPOWERNMENT

A tous ceux qui nous lisent, permettez que nous puissions vous exprimer notre profonde gratitude quant à l'intérêt que vous attachez à nos publications; S'agissant de mon parcours, je suis femme congolaise évoluant à l'Est de la DRC. Après mes études universitaires à travers lesquelles j'avais obtenu un diplôme de graduat en Management; j'avais décidé de me marier. De notre mariage; nous avions eu 4 fils.

Après une dizaine d'année, mon conjoint avait connu une mort subite à l'âge de 36 ans; pendant que moi j'avais 29 ans. Nos 4 fils avaient respectivement 10, 7,5, et 11 mois pour le cadet. Je m'étais retrouvée dans une situation d'impasse, dans laquelle je ne voyais aucun issu. Toutefois, grâce à mon niveau d'instruction, et notamment la foi en Dieu; j'ai dû travailler duremment pour faire grandir ma progéniture. Nombreux sont ceux qui me sollicitaient au rémariage; mais; je ne voyais que l'avenir de mes enfants comme activité prioritaire.

Je n'avais pas un travail qui pouvait me permettre d'avoir un salaire alléchant, j'étais fonctionnaire au Ministère de l'Environnement; Conservation de la Nature où je prestait depuis 1978. En 1983, l'hiérarchie nationale me désigna comme Superviseur de l'Environnement dans une commune urbaine, et c'était à titre d'essai, car les femmes n'étaient pas encore nombreuses dans l'Administration et surtout lorsqu'il s'agissait de réaliser les travaux de terrain. Ayant prouvé mes compétences sur terrain, parmi des centaines d'hommes, je fus promis en 1985 par une commission Ministerielle aux fonctions de chef de Bureau chargée de l'Administration et Finances à la coordination Provinciale de l'environnement en province du Sud-Kivu. Par la Suite,je fus nommée par Ordonance Présidentielle du Président Mobutu dans les mêmes fonctions en 1991. En 2OO5; je fus de nouveau promue par commission ministérielle aux fonctions de Chef de Division et Coordinatrice Provinciale de l'Environnement au Sud-Kivu. J'ai exercé cette fonction jusque en 2007 où je fus déchue de ces fonctions pour avoir dénoncé la spoliation d'un site destiné à la reproduction des plantule pour servir du Reboisement dans la ville de Bukavu; qui est un site en proie aux érosions,

Toutefois; n'ayant paq perdu courage, j'avais signé un contrat de travail de 6mois auprès de Wildlife conservation society comme consultante dans le Projet de la conservation de la Forêt d'Itombwe, devenue Réserve Naturelle d'Itombwe/ Ensuite; j'avais depuis 2009 à 2010 presté dans un projet de Monitoring Protection appuyé par l'UNHCR, executé par une Ong locale. Suite à l'insécurité dans la zone d'affectation; je me suis résolue de rentrer en ville pour exercer mes consultances et rédynamiser ma Structure Action pour l'Education environnemtale au Kivu. Neema m'a rencontré qu studio de la Radio Maria de l'archidiocèse de Bukavu entrain d'animer des émissions de sensibilisation du public ç la protection de l'Environnement, c'est de cette manière que mon parcours a évolué, A travers mes initiatives, y compris mon courage et ma foi en l'Eternel, mes enfants ont étudiés; car le cadet est actuellement en 1er doctorat et l'aîné est ingénieur Agronome;

J'ai subi plusieurs formations dans plusieurs domaines. J'ai ensuite milité pour la cause de la femme au sein des associations de développement,

English translation by PulseWire member Elle Crossley

To all those who are reading what we have to say, let us express our deepest gratitude for the interest you have shown in our posts. As for my story, I am a Congolese woman living in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. After studying for a graduate diploma in Management at university, I decided to get married. My husband and I had four sons.
Around ten years later, my husband died suddenly at the age of 36. I was 29. Our sons were 10, 7, 5 and 11 months old. I found myself in an impossible situation and I could see no solution. But, thanks to my level of education and, most of all, thanks to my faith in God, I was able to work hard and sustain my children. Several men asked me to remarry but I focused solely on my children's future.

My job did not provide me with a large salary. I was a civil servant in the Ministry of the Environment, working in nature conservation, a post I had had since 1978. In 1983, in the national hierarchy I was the Supervisor for the Environment in an urban area, on a trial period because there weren't many women in Administration, and because the job dealt with land work.

Having proved my competence, among hundreds of men, I was promoted by ministerial commission to a job as the manager of an office in charge of the administration of finances, in coordination with the South Kiva province environment office in 1985. I was given the same role under President Mobutu by presidential ordinance in 1991. In 2005 I received another promotion by ministerial commission, this time to the post of Head of Division and Coordinator of the Environment in the province of South Kivu. I remained in this job until 2007, when I was fired for denouncing the despoliation of a site which cultivated plantlets for reforestation in Bukavu, which is an endangered site. However, my courage held out and I signed a 6 month work contract with a wildlife conservation society, working as a consultant for a conservation project in the Itombwe Forest. Then, from 2009 to 2012, I worked on a local NGO project monitoring environment protection, which was supported by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR). When there were security problems in the affected zone, I decided to go back in to the town to give advise and revitalise my action plan for education on the environment in Kivu. Neema met me at the Radio Maria studio in the archdiocese of Bukavu when I was presenting programmes to raise public awareness about protecting the environment.

And this is how my career developed. Through my own initiative, my courage and my faith in God. My children have also gone on to study: the youngest is doing a first PHD and the eldest is an agricultural engineer. I studied in several different fields and I have fought for women's rights within organisations for development.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Ending Violence Against Women Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring an end to gender-based violence. The EVAW Campaign elicits powerful content from women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as vocal grassroots leaders, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
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Comments

Elle Crossley's picture

LEADERSHIP AND EMPOWERMENT

To all those who are reading what we have to say, let us express our deepest gratitude for the interest you have shown in our posts. As for my story, I am a Congolese woman living in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. After studying for a graduate diploma in Management at university, I decided to get married. My husband and I had four sons.
Around ten years later, my husband died suddenly at the age of 36. I was 29. Our sons were 10, 7, 5 and 11 months old. I found myself in an impossible situation and I could see no solution. But, thanks to my level of education and, most of all, thanks to my faith in God, I was able to work hard and sustain my children. Several men asked me to remarry but I focused solely on my children's future.
My job did not provide me with a large salary. I was a civil servant in the Ministry of the Environment, working in nature conservation, a post I had had since 1978. In 1983, in the national hierarchy I was the Supervisor for the Environment in an urban area, on a trial period because there weren't many women in Administration, and because the job dealt with land work.
Having proved my competence, among hundreds of men, I was promoted by ministerial commission to a job as the manager of an office in charge of the administration of finances, in coordination with the South Kiva province environment office in 1985. I was given the same role under President Mobutu by presidential ordinance in 1991. In 2005 I received another promotion by ministerial commission, this time to the post of Head of Division and Coordinator of the Environment in the province of South Kivu. I remained in this job until 2007, when I was fired for denouncing the despoliation of a site which cultivated plantlets for reforestation in Bukavu, which is an endangered site. However, my courage held out and I signed a 6 month work contract with a wildlife conservation society, working as a consultant for a conservation project in the Itombwe Forest. Then, from 2009 to 2012, I worked on a local NGO project monitoring environment protection, which was supported by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR). When there were security problems in the affected zone, I decided to go back in to the town to give advise and revitalise my action plan for education on the environment in Kivu. Neema met me at the Radio Maria studio in the archdiocese of Bukavu when I was presenting programmes to raise public awareness about protecting the environment.
And this is how my career developed. Through my own initiative, my courage and my faith in God. My children have also gone on to study: the youngest is doing a first PHD and the eldest is an agricultural engineer. I studied in several different fields and I have fought for women's rights within organisations for development.

Elle Crossley's picture

Merci

Merci beaucoup pour votre message. Vous êtes très courageuse. Vos réussites suscitent l'inspiration. Pouvez-vous nous dire plus sur les problèmes de l'environnement au RDC et ce que vous avez pu faire dans votre role?

Cordialement,
Elle

Debra Engle's picture

An inspiring story

Thank you for sharing your story. You're an inspiration and a role model for women all over the world, demonstrating the power of education, courage and faith.

It sounds as though you faced many situations when you could have quit or felt defeated. But instead you persevered, stood up for what you believed, and followed your faith.

Congratulations for your accomplishments, for doing such important work, and for showing other women that they, too, can overcome enormous obstacles to make a difference in this world.

Deb Engle

bewa's picture

Resilience

Dear Madeleine, Your strength, courage and resilience shine through in the story of your career. You have accomplished so much through difficult circumstances. Raising your children, protecting the environment, speaking out to protect endangered areas. What role model you are for mothers and women and human beings everywhere. And your example inspired the next generation. You must be very proud. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story!

Marija011's picture

Example for young girls

Dear Madeleine,

What an inspirational story for women all around the world!

I am very glad that you are in a high spirit and in the good health. People of your country are lucky to have you as an advocate. Please continue with the good work. Hopefully you will inspire many more young girls to follow your example.

All the best,
Marija

SaiKiGo's picture

You are a great role model

Dear Madeleine,

Reading your story made me smile. I appreciate how difficult life has been for you, but you showed that no matter the circumstance you always have a choice to keep trying or to give into the difficulty of the situation. Your children have reaped the fruits of your actions, and are successful because you made tough decisions that have led you to where you are now. I enjoyed reading your story because it shows possibility. I have read the stories of many women from the DRC on World Pulse, and yours has stood out to me as an example of positivity. Are you a mentor to any young women in your country right now, or perhaps do any work with organizations that work with young girls? I ask, because I think you are an outstanding example of a strong woman, who stands up for her beliefs and has a vision for her own life and that of her children. Congratulations for establishing a noble career and for raising such a strong family.

Sincerely,
Kiran

Sai Kiran Gopie
Hon. BSc, MBA
www.socialgood2pt0.ca
http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/sai-kiran-gopie/5/543/2a
Twitter: @SaiKiranGopie

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