Nationality

DR Congo

Education

Master in Linguistics, Kisangani University, Kisangani, DR Congo

Master in Applied Pedagogy, Bukavu Teacher Training College, Bukavu, DR Congo

Languages

English, French, Lingala, Otetela, Swahili and Tshiluba

I grew up in an environment where peace was one of the core ideals. We were brought up to be each other’s keeper: this stayed with me, but I did not realize it was going to be my life. In my adulthood, I have witnessed conflicts and wars that have involved my country. And with each, came the suffering of innocent civilians. Somehow, I have always found myself in the middle, trying to support victims of such atrocities.

For over 20 years, I devoted my life caring for the wounded and the displaced: a passion which became a way of life during the 1994 Rwandan genocide which brought refugees to the Eastern part of my country, and the 1998 civil war in my homeland, which intensified in 2004.

I was trained as a teacher and love teaching, but I think I was destined to work to promote human values and humanitarian principles. Probably, this was what drew me to the United Nations: I wanted to be part of an Organization that promotes justice and peace so that human beings can live a normal life.

My career with the United Nations started in 2005 in my home province of Kisangani, which is the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s third largest base. I started as an English Language Teacher for staff working in Kisangani, before moving on to Kinshasa as Programme Assistant in the Office of Rule of Law.

The Rule of Law is central to sustainable peace in countries emerging from conflict. My Section assists local authorities in reinforcing their justice system. We provide advice to and initiate programmes for officials in charge of the various processes of justice to protect the human rights of people, irrespective of their circumstances.

We work specifically through reform of correctional systems to protect the basic rights of prisoners: providing the necessary conditions for them to be judged fairly and initiating projects to provide rehabilitation in prisons so they become productive members of the community after their release.

I am responsible for all the administrative tasks that support corrections officers deployed in the Mission. Besides organizing a database of all the partners involved in both military and civilian justice, I facilitate and organize workshops as well as seminars for personnel of the justice system, in addition to working with corrections officers on projects.

It is a very gratifying job. For many years I have worked to restore hope to people who have suffered because of the break down of the rule of law. Now, I have the opportunity to help those who work in the justice system to understand the consequences each time the system fails to protect the people.

Recently, I organized training on military justice for local military personnel and prosecutors. We came to a chapter on sexual violence and sexual abuse. When I started explaining the consequences of sexual crimes and abuse on victims with images, I noticed some of the participants started weeping. They could not believe that human beings could do the things they saw in the pictures, and the long-term consequences on the future life of the victims.

The power we have together as larger organization to influence change and to get local authorities to do the right thing for their people is very gratifying.

Prior to joining the Organization, I worked for many years as university lecturer and devoted my spare time to relief activities for the Red Cross in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: first as a volunteer and then as the President of the Provincial branch.

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