Benjamin ShakoDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Benjamin Shako has over three years of experience in the social change sector and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Sciences from the University of Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. While working as the Communications Chair for the Union for Democracy and Social Progress/Youth League in Congo, Benjamin helped establish and maintain the strategic direction of the organization, develop communication plans and messages for various youth league activities, and raise awareness about the league platform as a networking hub for youths. Benjamin is also a Thought For Food (TFF) Ambassador, where he raises the reputation of the food and agriculture industry to create a sustainable food system nationally and globally. Previously, Benjamin worked with a community-based organization, where he conducted an awareness campaign on Ebola prevention and ending child marriage in Congo. Benjamin has volunteered for several nonprofits, including the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa, the Center to Support Marginalized and Exploited Youth, International Youth Fellowship, and AIESEC in support of Sustainable Development Goals 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 13, and 16. Through these experiences, he developed strong communication, planning, volunteer management, and advocacy skills. Benjamin deeply values empathy, team work, and global collaboration. In the future, Benjamin plans to serve in an elected position to effectively promote solutions to address the social issues facing his country. He enjoys focusing on the topics of leadership, marketing, governance, and agriculture, and has a strong passion for youth and community development.
Solange NyamulisaDemocratic Republic of Congo (Host: Voice of America)
Solange Nyamulisa is a human rights advocate, journalist from the Democratic Republic of Congo. She earned a Bachelor in Journalism at National University of Rwanda and a postgraduate degree in Diplomacy and Strategy at “Centre d’Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques” in Madagascar. Most importantly she is a proud mother of two daughters. Solange has eight years experience working in the field of communications, public information, advocacy and networking with media, government, grassroots organizations, Non for profit Organizations and international organizations. In 2007 Solange did a training of trainers in journalism with Tiziano Project which is dedicated to expand knowledge and access to information worldwide by empowering communities to tell their own stories. During this training, she produced few short documentaries that were broadcast on CNN. In 2008, while working as a Communications Officer for ActionAid in eastern Congo, Solange joined a Women’s Rights Movement called Sauti ya Maman mu Kongomani, (Congolese women’s voice). Her journalism background allowed her to play a key leadership role within the movement as the spokesperson for stakeholders’ outreach and public awareness. In 2009, she worked as a reporter and producer of documentaries and radio broadcasting for Internews Rwanda as a focal point for DRC within the project called Information exchange sensitization Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda. These documentaries contributed in the conflict resolution and peace dialogue between Congolese and Rwandese people. Solange served as a Communications Specialist in different international organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme (Central Africa Republic, DRC), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (DRC). The materials she produced helped to increase the organizations ‘visibility, highlighted key achievements and contributed to resources. Starting in 2011, Solange volunteered for 4 years as a Communications Officer for UNDP in Madagascar where she played a central role during the electoral process in developing and implementing the organization`s communications strategy, including its resource mobilization strategy. Solange has the goal to develop a communications tool that will allow easy access to information and outreach on women’s rights, since she believes “whoever has information has power.”
Host Organization: Voice of America (VOA)
Role at Host Organization: Solange’s Fellowship in the Africa Division will engage audiences and outreach to the youth of our target countries in Africa. She will learn about the VOA, and its unique news gathering and broadcasting operations around the world. She will work with news production and broadcasting techniques, US journalism, VOA’s code of journalistic ethics.