iLEAP International Fellow, 2018
Solange lives in Goma, a town which is the capital of North Kivu in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Her vision about peace began forming when she was 23 and working for the International Committee of the Red Cross, in the department of unaccompanied children. Her time in the office concerned completing the files of parents who were looking for their children after being separated during the massive displacement of Rwandese refugees to their neighboring countries. This work reminds her of her childhood and she does it with passion. “I had the chance to talk to the most experienced people and they inspired me very much,” but ultimately “I left this post for continue to study.” A few years later, after an administrative work at Care International, she would leave to join again field activities,” that were better aligned with her passions.
Currently, Solange serves as the head of the Gender Program of POLE Institute. The objective of this initiative is to “promote the social-economic empowerment of marginalized women.” Solange oversees the entire program, where she facilitates critical dialogue to “break hatred, religious, and ethnic boundaries to build peace in [the women’s] communities.” Everyday, Solange is doing the work of her vision, and emphasizes how important it is to act on what you are passionate about.