Our Founder and Executive Director, Janvier Manirakiza posing with children in Butanuka
OUR FOUNDER'S STORY
Janvier Manirakiza is a young african leader who’s passionate about human dignity and social justice. He comes from a very humble family; his father was a houseboy (a domestic worker) and his mom’s business was to sell roasted corn for livelihood in the streets of Bujumbura. Due to poverty and ignorence, Janvier’s sister became pregnant at the age of 16 and the old man who impregnanted her ran away. Also Janvier’s uncle committed suicide and died at the age of 20.
Janvier Manirakiza, the founder and leader of Dreaming for Change, is a graduate at Cavendish University in Kampala, Uganda. He was trained as a Young African Leader (YALI) at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya and was also selected as one of 1,000 Mandela Washington Fellows from sub-saharan Africa to attend civic leadership training at Appalachian State University located in Boone, North Carolina sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. After the MWF program, his family discouraged him from returning to Burundi due to the political instability at the time. However, he was excited to go back to Burundi and give back to his community through Dreaming for Change.
in January 2018, he resigned from my fulltime job and went to start Dreaming for Change. He got “advice” from numerous people, discouraging his move to pursue ‘big and unrealistic dreams’. However, he was determined to make a difference in other people’s lives, the noises never deterred him. Dreaming for Change is now officially registered as a Burundi based nonprofit organization and there are expert YALI alumni, MWF fellows and Americans who serve as Board of Directors and Advisors.
SEE WHAT "USAID" IS SAYING ABOUT OUR FOUNDER
See how 2017 YALI Fellow @janviermani is helping provide quality education, economic dev opportunity & sustainable agriculture for the low-income communities in rural Burundi #EastAfrica through his nonprofit, Dreaming For Change https://t.co/dJJ7JiPbc1 @WashFellowship @YALIRLCEA— USAID in Africa (@USAIDAfrica) May 22, 2018