Story of Courage
“Leadership is not a matter of gender”
I am Jeannette Muhimundu, a 22-year-old Rwandan refugee girl currently residing in Zimbabwe. I have always been passionate about helping others, and since 2017, I have been actively involved in serving my community as a chair of the Terres Des Hommes child protection committee.
All my life I had a passion for serving and helping others and this led me to join the youth committee in 2020, an incredible experience. After hard work within the youth committee, in 2021 I received the opportunity of a lifetime, I was appointed the first female youth leader of the Tongogara refugee camp. As a facilitator of the Engaging Men and Boys through Responsible Practices to Prevent Gender-Based Violence against Women and Girls (EMAP) program, I was able to receive intensive training in which I was equipped with tools and knowledge to reflect on attitudes and behaviors, a very useful training which I sought to focus a little later on supporting community training in the prevention of gender-based violence.
I am delighted and very grateful to have the opportunity to put this knowledge into practice in my new role as a youth leader. I feel it has been a dream come true. With all this, I have not forgotten my main goal, what brought me here, to advocate for peace in the Tongogara refugee camp and work to prevent gender-based violence. This motivates me to continue to grow and gain knowledge on the topic.
Through my leadership, I hope to give women and girls the opportunity to reflect on the violence that has happened to them and equip men with tools to build a community free of violence. As a leader, I understand that good leadership is not about the position, but about willingly serving the community and helping them meet their needs.
My goals include working with different cultures to appreciate each other’s traditional beliefs, socialize, get involved and support youth-led initiatives in their incredible work they are already doing. Of course, leading in a refugee camp presents its challenges. However, through sheer resilience and an unwavering passion for promoting peace and stability, I have been able to overcome these challenges. With my team of dedicated youth leaders, we’ve been able to work towards creating a community that supports and uplifts its members.
Through my involvement in the EMAP program and my subsequent appointment as the first female youth leader at Tongogara refugee camp.
“Good leadership will enable the community to resolve problems which arise within the camp. I am going to work with different cultures by appreciating the traditional beliefs of others, I will socialize then get involved and I will support youth-led initiatives in their amazing work they are already conducting”