Congo is always on my mind!

nabami
Posted April 2, 2019 from Democratic Republic of the Congo

I was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo on October 25. My very pregnant mother was fleeing the city of Bukavu because rebel forces were on their way to kill anyone they suspected of being Hutus. This turmoil was my welcome into this world. This conflict took us from Bukavu in the east to Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo. As a child, there are so many things you don't notice, and despite the chaos, my innocence allowed me to have a beautiful childhood. My mother and I left the continent in 2004 and landed in the US shortly after. Growing up in the United States, as a refugee, was not easy. So my solution was to assimilate as much as possible. First I lost my love of Congolese music and television shows, then my language, and lastly my memories. The pressure to be normal was so heavy on my head that I did not mourn the identity that was being stripped away. 

At the beginning of high school, several things happened: my father escaped from Congo, I reconnected with my family back home, and I made a lot of African friends. This ignited a spark and since then the question of "how will we improve Congo" has been on my mind endlessly. I read books, watched documentaries, and had numerous conversations with friends and family member on this topic. Most of the time I was left with one answer from those in the diaspora "I want to help my country [DRC], but I don't know how." 

This statement prompted me to start a platform where Congolese people, specifically, Congolese girls can discuss pressing issues, network, share stories, as well as find solutions to key problems plaguing our country. It's in my opinion that community creates opportunity and I would like to see more Congolese girls succeed and collaborate. I was not a world-renowned public health specialist or a government official. All I had was an idea, a couple of friends, and a passion to see something - no matter how small - change.

On International Women's Day, we launched Congolese Girls Coalition (CGC). This organization is dedicated to creating and supporting projects that improve our country and empower our people; As well as, using our platform to connect Congolese girls, of all ages, across the globe.  We will do this through collaborations with already established organizations and by creating new initiatives that will benefit the local community. Our efforts focus on helping women and children first, but CGC is dedicated to improving Congo for everyone. Our efforts will deal with the following issues: Hunger and malnutrition, education, gender equality, sustainable waste disposal, and supporting victims of violent and domestic crimes, sex trafficking, forced labor, and child abuse. These goals are in line with the UN Sustainable and Millennium development goals. Our second aim focuses on connecting women and girls across the diaspora and at home through internet-based platforms including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. These online community will work to help Congolese girls and women share their stories, form friendships in their local community, and increase the visibility of Congolese people, achievements, and issue. While also, providing a blueprint and audience for those who strive to be online content creators.

We are only beginning, but we call upon the World Pulse community to give us advice, interact with us through social media, and reach out if you would like to collaborate or need help with a project in the DRC. Thank you so much for your time!

Comments 18

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Dawn Arteaga
Apr 02, 2019
Apr 02, 2019

Welcome to World Pulse! Wow what an amazing platform you have created! There are many incredible Congolese women on World Pulse. Have you met Neema yet? She lives in eastern Congo and would be a great person to message as a starting point: https://www.worldpulse.com/community/users/neema

nabami
Apr 03, 2019
Apr 03, 2019

Good morning Dawn, thank you so much for the recommendation. I have read a lot of her stories and even some articles on Neema. We are from the same region of Congo. I was waiting to be more organized before I contact her. However, sometimes you have to just jump. Have a beautiful day!

Dawn Arteaga
Apr 03, 2019
Apr 03, 2019

Yes!! I encourage you to jump! She has inspired SO many of the Congolese women on World Pulse, I know she would embrace you too!

Seka
Apr 03, 2019
Apr 03, 2019

Dear Nabami hello,
What a good idea ! A giant tree was first a seed. May this idea of helping the Congolese community grow and bear fruit! It is not a coincidence because the woman and the child really suffer. May the good God make you able to realize your dreams. I encourage you because you are at the right address, World Pulse will be at your side.
In sisterhood
Seka

nabami
Apr 03, 2019
Apr 03, 2019

Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words. Amen!

Seka
Apr 04, 2019
Apr 04, 2019

Dear Nabami,
I am obliged to tell you a sad news that I learned last night. A friend told me how on the occasion of the closing of the month of the woman, the women of his service went to do a work in a hospital of Kabare in South Kivu. They had learned that there were women imprisoned in this hospital for giving birth without means to pay the cost of delivery. I assure you they were numerous. Some had totaled more than three months in the hospital! What misery for the woman and the child? Imagine a mother who has been away from home for a long time for that reason! What is the fate of others who have stayed at home? They paid for some women but not all. Note that some bills were 30, 80 and the highest did not reach 150 US dollars. Go ahead understand !!!

nabami
Apr 04, 2019
Apr 04, 2019

Good morning! I will message you privately and see how I can help.

Jill Langhus
Apr 03, 2019
Apr 03, 2019

Hello Nabami,
Welcome to World Pulse. Thanks for sharing some of your background story and also your great idea, mission and organization. What is your organization's website and/or social media pages? Looking forward to seeing more stories from you...

nabami
Apr 04, 2019
Apr 04, 2019

We are still working on the website. Here are the Instagram(@congolesegirlscoalition) and Twitter (@congolesegirls) links.

https://twitter.com/CongoleseGirls?lang=en
https://www.instagram.com/congolesegirlscoalition/

Jill Langhus
Apr 04, 2019
Apr 04, 2019

Okay, thanks for all the links, dear. I will follow you on Twitter. I don't have an Insta account any longer.

Hope you're having a great day!

Hannah B
Apr 03, 2019
Apr 03, 2019

Hello Nabami,
Thank you for this wonderful post! I am so excited to learn about the CGC. I hope that you will find lots of inspiration and great connections here on World Pulse! Please share more with us when you can.
Warmly,
Hannah

nabami
Apr 04, 2019
Apr 04, 2019

Thank you! I am excited.

esther atosha
Apr 05, 2019
Apr 05, 2019

welcome to worldpulse my countrymate nabami,
, am soo glad that you louched your congolese girl coalision in the us . congratulation and keep it up .

nabami
Apr 05, 2019
Apr 05, 2019

Merci beaucoup Yaya!

Tamarack Verrall
Apr 10, 2019
Apr 10, 2019

Hi Nabami,
What a tremendous plan you are putting into action. So many girls will feel empowered by your focus on them. An additional way to find all the World Pulse members from the DRC is to search under Community/Filter and enter DRC under Country. All of the DRC members will pop up starting with the most recently joined to the most long term. I hope to put you in touch with others here and will private message you.
Welcome to World Pulse!
Tam

nabami
Apr 10, 2019
Apr 10, 2019

Hi again Tam,

Thank you for this recommendation. I've been having a hard time finding the right way to filter all the members!

Bests

fidelity
Apr 11, 2019
Apr 11, 2019

Nabami, your story has touched my heart. i have been to Goma several times training women on business skills. Congolese women are hardworking but the environment is not conducive at all. Thumbs up for you girl go go go... create the platform, connect with local organization in DRC and in Africa. There are many that want to support women in DRC. i listened to stories of rape as weapon of war in DRC, the visula issue etc. kindly visit this site and see if you can make to attend this global conference where you get to learn more. i will be there this is the same forum a learnt about the DRC gynecologist who assist women with Vistula
https://fourth.worldshelterconference.org/en/user/216/sessions
https://youtu.be/dOm681Tv7TI
visit the links and listen to the youtube.

Celine
Apr 11, 2019
Apr 11, 2019

Welcome Nabami to our world of sisterhood! What a nice project you have. I am sure your project will surely bring the desired change.
I wish you best!

Celine