Rachel NEEMA KWELEKA was born in September 1993 in Bukavu, South-Kivu province, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. She is one of a six children raised by a single mother who was a prominent role model to Rachel. Her mother pursued her own education that allowed her to provide food, shelter and education for her children.
Rachel finished her fundamental education in 2006 at EP Nguba, a school funded by the church that hosts the Future Hope Africa Education Center. In 2012, she was awarded her State Diploma for secondary studies in Social Studies at a Catholic school in Bukavu. In 2015, Rachel finished her undergraduate program in International Relations at the Official University of Bukavu.
Rachel is presently in her final year of a Master’s degree program at the University of Bukavu.
Rachel remarks, “I found this job just after the last year of my secondary (high school) studies, before I knew I passed the State exams, and before I got my diploma. I am thankful for FHA and the chance it gave me to work while I was still studying. FHA is one of the rare NGOs that allow that. Most of the other organizations ask for many years of experience. Someone has to give young people their first experience and FHA does that for many!” Rachel even gave up a golden opportunity to study in the neighboring country of Burundi because she was attracted to FHA’s mission and philosophy of a Christian-based education provider.
Initially recruited as a teacher for FHA’s 2012 Vacation Bible School, Rachel soon became the Communications Manager at FHA’s education center. She coordinates the center’s internal communications and staff planning, and facilitates community outreach for FHA’s ever-expanding educational and entrepreneurial programs. She acts as an executive assistant to FHA’s Director and Deputy Director. Rachel also performs teaching duties when an extra teacher is required.
Rachel is a member of the Young Leaders Club and a Bible study group where she learns and mentors other young women in leadership and social skills according to Biblical principles.
Rachel enthusiastically adds, “I am really enjoying working with FHA. My studies wouldn’t have given me so much experience and all the wonderful people, the children and the colleagues, that I am working with. When I think about it, I wouldn’t have gained so much if I had gone to Burundi.”