ACT for Congo Scholarship for Congolese Luminaries
When funds are available, we sponsor people who are effective leaders working to improve community health and supporting sustainable development in DR Congo. This can include tuition, language training, travel, visa, and living expenses needed.
Current awardee: Fred Winga Bauma
We welcome Fred Bauma to Seattle. ACT for Congo’s mission is to educate about the challenges and opportunities of partnership in Central Africa, and provide support for innovative and integrated programs that cultivate community, empower women and foster health. Fred is the third Congolese that we’ve been able to invite to Seattle as an iLEAP Fellow.
Fred Bauma's vision is nothing less than a just and equitable society in his home country, Democratic Republic of Congo. At 26, Fred is one of the leaders of the nonviolent youth organization La Lucha. He wants DRC’s people to become a "sentinel of democracy and good governance" and is inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, "and other great minds that positively changed humanity."
He believes young people can create a better future through civic participation and social entrepreneurship. Yet in a country devastated by war and poverty, it can be difficult to motivate people to engage civically when they need jobs to survive. As a community organizer in Goma working on waste management, he found a successful strategy for overcoming this hurdle: combining voluntary community cleaning/ sanitation activities with cultural activities.
As a national movement activist, he coordinates various initiatives, from prisoner rehabilitation to peace festivals. The work comes at a heavy price: he spent 17 months in jail after attending a youth conference. But living with fellow prisoners from all walks of life gave him insight into his own struggle for unity. "Dialogue. . . helped me understand the deep motivations of others and to find the means to overcome those differences together," he says.
Fred wants to provide La Lucha, which is growing rapidly, the organizational structure it needs to succeed. As an iLEAP Fellow, he will have the chance to explore strategies with others who are working for transformational change in their own countries.
Past scholarship awardees:
Modestine Etoy was selected for a leadership fellowship in Seattle in 2012. We also supported her participation at the Quality Improvement Leadership Institute at University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014.
Modestine is Program Manager at HOLD-DRC, and directs Succeeding Together -- HOLD's program that engages single mothers, their families, and their communities.
Micheline Mwendike was selected for a leadership fellowship in Seattle in 2014. She is an activist, journalist and photographer, who is focused on gaining access to roads and clean water for people in Goma, DR Congo. Her strong community leadership and principle make her one of the luminary voices in Eastern Congo.
She is now pursuing a master's degree in Policy and Governance at Sophia University in Florence, Italy.