June 4, 2014
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November 30, 2013
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February 8, 2013
I live in Eastern Congo, labeled as one of the worst places in the world to be a woman. I belong to a marginalized tribe, and I am crippled from polio. But none of those things characterize me. I have a vision for my country that compels me, and its destiny is driving me. It’s big, maybe improbable, but not impossible. For I have learned that making the impossible possible, simply requires a different set of rules. And I’m all about changing the rules. In fact, I BELIEVE in Miracles!
And this is not something new. I have always been outspoken. When I was just a junior in high school I became the host of a weekly radio program promoting awareness regarding life for Persons with Disabilities (PWD). And I’ve remained on-the-air unto this day.
I became only the second girl from my tribe to get a university degree. I went on to take a seat in Parliament for my Province, and from there was appointed by our nation’s Minister of Gender and Family as Technical Advisor, where I served the remaining 4+ years of her term in Kinshasa; our nation’s capital.
I founded an NGO called ACOLDEMHA, to support women with disabilities to integrate into mainstream society. Among other things, we currently support a team of 14 women seamstresses with disabilities who make purses for U.S. based Shakoshi Imports, found at www.shakoshi.com, and clothes for a new women’s clothing line out of Santa Fe, New Mexico called Couphaha.
In 2009 I began promoting a robust telecommunications technology for nationwide deployment in DR Congo. In 2011 I formed my own telecommunications company, Go Network, and by the end of that year, obtained a nationwide licensing grant with spectrum for voice, internet, and three TV channels. My goal is to connect even the rural areas of our country to reach and join the mostly illiterate women to one another, and to programming content created to inform, encourage, and empower them.
In 2010, I was selected as Bureau Chief for the Ministry of Education for Children with Disabilities in my Province (South Kivu Province) of over 4,000,000 people. But I have no budget and no salary. It is a very challenging position in a very challenging country. The biggest obstacle to getting any funding from outside sources has been that there are no statistics for disabled children, and no funding has come available to get statistics.
In June of 2012 I was selected as one of three World Pulse journalists for their annual Live Tour of the U.S., where among other things, I spoke before the U.S. Department of State, the Clinton Global Initiative, and was interviewed by CNN.
In July of 2012, I began hosting workshops to engage educated women community leaders in World Pulse’s online forum as a beginning platform to mobilize, enlighten, and engage a leadership group for future gender and PWD rights activities. We are now the Maman Shujaa of Congo - giving Voice to the Congo we hold so dear in our hearts, encouraging and supporting one another with an agenda for Peace and Development in Congo that prioritizes human rights for all, rights for nature, and a Right to a Future for our children.
For me personally, every conversation is an opportunity to promote right-mindedness for our gender, and especially women with disabilities; whether one on one, or simply joining my one voice to the 50,000 voices of my sisters on World Pulse.