On November 5th, our Co-Founder Spencer and the Director of Congo Leadership Initiative East Region, Emmanuel Baraka, spoke in front of the students currently supported by Nyantende Foundation at the organization's annual assembly. The purpose of the assembly was three-fold.
- To introduce the Foundation's new leadership programming
- To continue cultivating a sense of community and fellowship among Nyantende Foundation students
- To inspiration, motivate, and boost morale for everyone in attendance
Below are copies of the speeches they delivered to the students. Spencer was first up.
"Thank you all for coming. I really enjoy these assemblies when I get to see you all together in one place. I hope these days are special for you too!
Look around, you are all the future of the Nyantende community. Nyantende Foundation wants you all to become the leaders that one day will transform your family, your community and your country. That is why our new mission is to create programs to teach you leadership skills and the importance of making new friends and helping others.
You must know already that you will not get far in this world alone. Your involvement in Nyantende Foundation is an opportunity for you to build new friendships that you can have for the rest of your lives.
Let Nyantende Foundation be your second family and these people around you, your second brothers and sisters.
Last time I spoke to you all was in March 2015. I finished the assembly with some very important points that I want to begin this assembly with.
(1) You do not know my friends in Canada that operate Nyantende Foundation. Maybe you do not know where Canada is on a map. But like guardian angels, you must believe that they are there, that they care about you, and are devoting their time and energy to your success. Do not disappoint them because really you are only disappointing yourself.
(2) You have been selected to receive an education. This is a special opportunity that other boys and girls you know do not have. When you are struggling always remember there is someone who wants your opportunity but is not so lucky. Be grateful, work hard, and one day remember this very special gift you were given when you had nothing. The best thing you can do is to share your successes with those who have not been fortunate enough to receive similar opportunities. Sharing is the most powerful ability you possess. God rewards those who share.
(3) Now is the time in your life to begin changing yourself into a better human. Ask yourself what values make a good human. Let this be your definition of success. Success is not about money, or cars, or how big your house is. when you are old and dying will you remember the cars you had and the clothes you wore, or all the people you loved in life and the memories you shared with them? You may see no opportunities to improve your life now. Some of you are still too young and these opportunities may not come for 5, 10, maybe even 20 years. I promise you if you develop yourself into the human that everyone admires for their kindness, honesty, work ethic, leadership, generosity, etc. you will find happiness. Love and happiness is what we all want in life. The rest is secondary.
If you have understood everything I have just said and have stored my words in your brain and in your heart, then we are now connected.
Nyantende Foundation is here to connect you with new friends and realize how you can be a better person. Be courageous and help each other using these lessons.
In these important years of growth walk together using love and happiness to guide you.
Next Emmanuel took the floor.
"Dear all, hello
I begin by thanking Mr Spencer for having confidence in CLI and inviting me here to speak to you.
It was not very long ago I discovered Nyatende, a charitable organization that supports more than 200 orphans in Nyatende.
It was not very long ago, a certain Tuesday, 23 May of this year, I have lost my very dear Daddy, I liked a lot, I think I like him even more because I cannot see him. My father, was a friend, a mentor, a model...
Since that day, I understand what it means to be an orphan. I imagine the situation that you cross when you lose your parents when you are still too young, you surely more need of them to this level. And there is not much that anyone can do to fill this gap because they are irreplaceable, but the one thing that I can guarantee you is that you are not alone in this struggle. When I see the Parish of Nyatende and everything it does for you, when I see the friends from Canada who thought about you, when I see the brothers and sisters of the North and South Kivu gathered in this Hall to speak to you, encourage you, support you, you should know that you will never be alone.
My dear brothers and sisters, my dear little brothers and sisters, I call you like this because we are all brothers and sisters under the fatherhood of God.
When we look at this beautiful country that God has given us, there is any kind of potential, a favorable climate, minerals, fertile soil, and lakes full of fish, rivers, forest that contribute to the climate balance in the world… but also of major challenges.
In short, a big country (2e in Africa) with big potential and big problems to understand,
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo where the earth is so generous, severe malnutrition is rife and threatens 7.7 million people - one in ten in the rural areas, alert, a report of the United Nations for the power supply (FAO).
Since 1996, the DRC has already lost more than 6 million people leaving until 2006 more than 95 000 orphans among which 430 000 are orphans victims of HIV AIDS.
More than 200 000 children are on the street and are called ' children of the street'' as if the street produce children.
More than 7 million children and adolescents in school age are not in school in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), indicates the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) in a news release reached Wednesday 13 January at Radio Okapi, this constitutes 33, 3 % on the 24 million children not attending school in the world.
Among these children 3.5 million whose age varies between 6 and 10 years can be enrolled for the primary cycle.
"The children living in the countries affected by a conflict have lost their homes, of the members of the family, friends, their safety and their routine. Now, unable to learn would not be-that the reading and the writing of base, their future is compromised and they may not have the opportunity to contribute to the companies and to the economies of their countries when they reach adulthood," said OJ Bourne, the responsible for the education to UNICEF.
"If we do not give priority to education in situations of emergency, a whole generation of children living in areas of conflict will grow up without acquire the skills they need to contribute to the life and to the economy of his country", fears Unicef.
Now, tell yourself that you are lucky to have been selected among all these young people whose future seems very dark. This is not a coincidence, because for God nothing is random but rather everything has a good reason to be.
Remember that being an orphan is not your limit, is not the reason of failure, because there is more than 7 million who are not all orphans but who do not have access to education, remember that there is more than 200 000 children who have no place to sleep, who spend their nights in the outside without what to eat, remember that you have been chosen by God among all these children, all these abandoned, these orphans because God would like to assign to you a mission.
Jesus himself experienced the life as an orphan, he has lost from 12 years his foster father Joseph.
All the times when you feel that you miss a Father, remember that there is a father always available for you, ''I am the father of orphans'', He is the one who has chosen you among all the other for you must raise up; all the times when you need a Mother for you, remember the word of Jesus on the Cross, ' child, here is your mother, and you mother, behold your son''; all the times when you are in difficulties, forgotten by the familiar, friends, remember that God has said : '' even if a mother can forget her children, I will never forget you’’.
God will never abandon you, in any situation, be courageous, be determined, and set your objectives in order that tomorrow this is you who help the other orphans to be the best, so that it is you who help other children not to be orphans."
God bless you