Marie Rose at LOCATION                                        Nyiragongo Volcano (Our Breathing Planet)

Hello! My name is Marie Rose Tshite, and I am a Fulbright scholar from the Democratic Republic of Congo.  I’ve been volunteering in community services since my first year at university, and later, I worked with women and youth associations.

Coming to the U.S.A. and studying at CESL has been a highly beneficial experience for me as a young woman engaged in local issues back home. As the National Coordinator of the Young African Leaders Initiative in the D.R. Congo (YALI-RDC), together with my fellow CESL students and the assistance of YALI members, I was able to launch an online fundraising drive[i] from here to assist thousands of Congolese victims of a recent volcanic eruption in my homeland. Launching this fundraising would not have happened if I were not in Tucson, surrounded by the beauty of cultural exchange that one only finds at CESL. I’m among those who believe in our unexcepted humanness and the uncertainty of life.

Indeed, every ten years, there is a volcanic eruption in the eastern side of my country. How do you call victims of repetitive natural catastrophes who have seen the lava destroying their homes? We might simultaneously realize that we are not always aware of all the natural disasters that surround us and might come overnight. One can recall the wildfires burning in Tucson in the 2000s and how communities were asked to evacuate without delay for their own safety. The impact of such environmental disasters that may be caused by heat or a volcanic eruption is usually underestimated, but for me, this brings a feeling of empathy.  

After 11 years of professional experience with local and international organizations in the DRC and South Africa, I would like to further my studies and obtain a master’s and then a Ph.D. in political field-oriented studies. Hopefully, this will lead me to work with the U.N. on youth civic and political representation issues and eventually create my own foundation or consulting firm on good governance, democracy, and the political analysis of world matters.

[i] The Calls for contribution and assistance to the victims of the NYIRANGONGO volcanic eruption can be found here