Modestine Etoy, 2012 iLEAP Fellow, Democratic Republic of Congo
Download a Printable Version of Modestine’s Impact Profile
iLEAP came at a perfect time for me, as I was on the verge of burning out. I was so immersed in my work that I was lost. I came home exhausted and was constantly thinking of the women I worked with. I didn’t spend enough time focusing on my family or personal life. However, through iLEAP, I learned that I had to say no. This meant eating healthier, sleeping more and, most importantly, spending time with my family. I now know that I must have the ability to focus on myself and my personal life in order to be able to help others. At iLEAP, I learned about the power of telling one’s story and rewriting the ending. I reflected on the personal – my values, who I am, where I am going, and what it means to share this with others.
Sharing stories helps create a climate of trust and this is what I am doing with the women and youth who I work with. I want them to own their story so that they can rewrite the ending. I want them to find the hope to take back their lives for themselves. Many Congolese women have lost hope and don’t know their dreams anymore. I am the Program Manager for an organization called HOLD, and we are providing these women and their children with the tools to rebuild their confidence and remind them that they have worth so that they can reclaim their dreams. I firmly believe that HOLD will be able to continue to work to promote the health and rights of the Congolese people and become a center for training and information for other organizations and Congolese communities that deserve to be loved and protected.