Impact Stories: Michael
Michael is a 24-year-old entrepreneur in Goma. After completing Africa New Day’s Transformational Leadership program, Michael was inspired to start his own peace-building club called JUDCM: Youth United for the Change of Culture, which has since become an officially licensed non-profit organization.
Since it began in 2013, JUDCM has trained more than 300 youths in Generation Hope Transformational Leadership training. Among their many accomplishments, the group engages in enlightening debates dealing with peace and peaceful cohabitation, which has challenged and reversed the negative thinking among the youth in the community. The group also hosts music events that helped to promote culture and peace. Most notably, JUDCM coordinates entrepreneurial activities, teaching the youths to make stoves, bracelets, cleaning products and other useful items, which they then sell. The revenue is split - a portion to the group savings account to fund future events, and a portion shared among the youths to help them meet their needs.
Through the application of the leadership principles that they have learned, JUDCM has become so influential in its area that they have been given the responsibility of managing larger community projects funded by major organizations, including UNICEF, Free Press Unlimited, SWISS TPH (Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute), i+solutions and YWCA, to name a few.
“If we can instill the vision of a brighter future and help young Congolese understand that they have what it takes to bring about change in their communities, then we have a Congo that is changing even right now. They are not the future of Congo anymore they are the present.” - Africa New Day founder Camille Ntoto.
Currently, JUDCM is doing a project called Jeune S3, funded by Cordaid (Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid), to teach the youth about responsible reproduction and sexuality. So far, they have been able to reach 500 youth in the city of Goma and some parts of Masisi County. The community openly embraced the S3 project; many got involved as if it was their own.
Africa New Day initially helped Michael discover and deploy his potential. But the impact quickly multiplied, as Michael’s knowledge spread throughout his community. Those we mentor become role models themselves, setting off a chain reaction of enlightenment. This is how a nation is transformed.