Pascal Mugaruka, Goma
I dream of D.R. Congo playing the role of a modern nation in Africa, a nation in which we aspire to maintain peace and reconciliation.
Watch Pascal's story below:
Pascal, a great leaderPascal Mugaruka is only 30 and already a striking image of the peace process that is going on in D.R. Congo. Founder of the Reconciled Africa movement and President of the Congo Unite movement, he presents himself as an “activist for reconciliation, peace and development in D.R. Congo”. He defines his commitment around two approaches: giving the help needed to victims of conflicts and creating a dialogue between the different tribes of D.R. Congo. A long term fight, to which Pascal commits himself with passion and resolution, for the future of his country.
Answering the populations’ needsDevelopment is the centre point of Pascal and his colleagues’ actions. “With the current war, a lot of families are victims of the conflicts in D.R. Congo and there is no government strategy to help these people from a socio-economic point of view.” Yet, no peace without economic stability and viability. To help those families leaving the difficult situation in which they were placed because of the war, Pascal’s organisation launched an interesting initiative.
We give microcredits to widowed women. Each woman gets 50 dollars.More than socio-humanitarian work, this project is a true springboard towards a better future.
With those 50 dollars they start a professional activity that creates an income.
Peace and reconciliation as an objectiveAccording to Pascal, the true challenge for his country is to re-create a dialogue between its inhabitants, to work towards reconciling the different groups in D.R. Congo. This idea of reconciliation is at the center of Pascal’s commitment in his organisation. That is what led him to organise, last summer, a unique meeting in D.R. Congo “Between the 25th and the 30th of July 2014, we organised a great national conference. This conference is part of our activities for the reconciliation. It reunited more than 250 young people coming from every province of D.R. Congo. We had one goal with this meeting; to gather young people from different tribes, different provinces, in an environment that brings peace and that promises the reconciliation and the unity of D.R. Congo” . This conference, those exchanges, the debates, are for Pascal the essential component of the reconciliation of his country :
“It gave me a peek into what the future of the country could look like.”
At the center of his action: youth
"For me, Pascal is a great leader, who fights for Congo youth. He inspires me a lot."This sole sentence represents the importance and the impact of Pascal's work on young people of D.R. Congo. By placing youth at the centre of his commitment, he shows his belief in youth's abilities, and that an alternative future is possible for his country - one without war. Another young man, present during the discussions of last July, remembers: "During the meeting, he told us something: 'in our country, where we live through a lot of unbearable situations, we have to learn to create our world. Because if we don’t manage to have our own world, we will keep living in the world of others'. And this sentence has accompanied us since then, we the youth." A leader yes, but Pascal is nonetheless conscious of the fact that the youth of D.R. Congo must work for their future. Thus, he offers to those young people the opportunity to take charge of their country's future, a future that sometimes seems to escape them.
Commitment to D.R. CongoPascal is fully aware that the path to peace is still long. However, he shows a sincere and complete trust in his country's youth. In the next 5 years, he can see D.R. Congo play a great role in Africa". In the end, what he hopes is to have a part in the making of D.R. Congo.
"A modern nation, a nation where everyone when arriving, aspires to maintain peace and reconciliation, a nation where there is visionary and positive leadership."