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.

Past Scholarship Awardees:


Solange Gasanganirwa is our 2018 awardee. She is the head of the Gender Department at Pole Institute and conducts research with Pole on peacebuilding in the Great Lakes Region, and mentors women with small businesses. Solange and Modestine collaborate in training and research.

Humanitarian leaders like Solange come to iLEAP (now Perennial) from all over the world for a respite to learn skills and share their experiences and struggles. "I'm leaving a different person", she said, "I know I'm not alone!"

Fred Winga Bauma was selected for a leadership fellowship to Seattle in 2016. He is the third Congolese we’ve been able to invite to Seattle as an iLEAP Fellow.

Fred is one of the leaders of the non-violent youth movement Lucha, and a voice for peaceful change for the many in DR Congo.  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 teachers from the Paulo Freire movement.

“Nonviolent action is the only way we can build peace forever.”

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 one of the original founders of Lucha, and recently completed her MA in Policy & Governance at Sophia University in Florence, Italy. 

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.

Modestine continues to lead the program at HOLD DRC. Since the program began in 2012, over 1300 young girls and women have learned vocational skills and passed the state exams to earn state-issued certificates in Tailoring, Esthetician or Culinary Arts. HOLD DRC has pioneered a new vocational training course, for Professional Cleaning, and the government is working with them to establish a national curriculum. HOLD graduates are creating a network of support, advocacy and its peer educators continue to share what they’ve learned with the public in Goma. Responsibility is built into the integrated approach.