Meet one of the future leaders of Congo, David Kasereka Bakwanamaha. Unlike many UCBC students, David is not the first in his family to attend a university. Education has played a critical role for his family, providing the means to become independent and secure a livelihood. But he is the first to attend a unique university like l’Université Chrétienne Bilingue du Congo (UCBC). And to him, that matters.
“Transformation and community life make UCBC unique. UCBC is making a big impact in Congo, changing the mentality and a [negative] way of seeing things. I know after four years when I have my diploma, I will be able to change and to do something. UCBC alumni are the ones who will be able to transform their communities and society,” David said.
When David discusses university life with his other siblings attending universities in Congo, they find clear differences. The effects of an education shaped by colonialism are still felt today at other universities and students often approach the learning environment and professors with fear. But at UCBC, it is different.
“For me, UCBC is the model university in Congo because the staff care about the development of students. They are serious about education while also being humble. Like a family, we can eat, share, work, and engage with staff in a way that is not seen at other universities.”
A first-year student studying counseling, David wants to help the community around him and create a better future for others.
“The reason I chose this department is because many people, including myself, live with trauma. I have traveled to various places in the country and I discover that many people suffer from trauma, but do not know where to get help.”
At UCBC, David is being equipped to serve others who are suffering from emotional and psychological wounds. One day, he hopes to work specifically with youth because he knows addressing their needs will help change the future of Congo.
“Being at UCBC is a good opportunity for my personal transformation, both intellectually and spiritually. For the first time, my eyes are opened to the value of being in such a community, sharing ideas that transform our minds.”