I was born in the mountainous west of Côte d’Ivoire, precisely in the town of Danané. I was born in a polygamous family, from a father of Beninese nationality who came to settle in the ’60s and an Ivorian mother of Dan ethnicity, the majority ethnicity of the Tonkpi region in Côte d’Ivoire. I am the fourth child of 23 children. I spent all my childhood in Danané with my parents. I did my schooling there until I obtained my baccalaureate in literature in 1996.
I then studied in the Faculty of Law at the University of Bouake. Due to the strike movements and violence on the faculties in the tumult of the nascent democracy in my country, in 1999 I joined a national nongovernmental organization as a field agent. I worked on the identification, documentation, and family tracing of separated and unaccompanied Liberian children due to the civil war in their country of origin. Since then, I have been working to promote children’s rights in general.
I have worked with Afrique Secours et Assistance, La Maison de l’Enfance, Save the Children, and International Rescue Committee in various capacities including program implementation, project management, child protection, and women’s empowerment.
Several major events marked me in my childhood. The one that stands out the most and that keeps coming back to me when I must go back in time is my mother’s self-sacrifice in making sure that I succeeded.
In my childhood, everything was stacked against me finishing the first school cycle. The instability of my family, the financial precariousness of my mother, who already had several children to take care of, and me, a sickly and turbulent child at the same time.
I have this memory of where I lived in an isolated house with my mother and my sisters, where studies were the basis of our family unit to get out of the precariousness, contrary to my father’s other children, who lived in a certain opulence.
To date, I have spent my entire professional career in community-based, local, and international child protection organizations. I have performed all these functions in almost all regions of Côte d’Ivoire. GFC was an opportunity that I seized for several reasons. GFC allowed me to continue in the promotion and defense of children’s rights. It also allowed me to support the organizational development of local groups with a flexibility of financing unlike other donors. GFC does not aim for short-term funding, but rather focuses its support on the long-term and allows a real transfer of skills and work methodology in a partnership that respects the values of its partners.
My biggest challenge will be to enable local organizations in my area of coverage to put systems and tools in place to be more impactful in their communities and to enable girls’ access to education and the retention of girls in school.
The most satisfying thing for me is to create this connection, this networking of partner organizations in West Africa to address all issues related to the promotion of children’s rights while respecting positive African values.
GFC’s work is important because it truly empowers small community-based organizations to be real agents of change in their communities.
GFC does not substitute for community-based organizations, but rather understands that building the capacity of and investing in local structures will enable children around the world to better enjoy their rights.
As a child, I was not fortunate enough to have gifts like some privileged children. I don’t remember as a child having a gift or a favorite toy. However, I still remember those makeshift toys that I used to build with recycled objects and that I used as toys. For example, worn sandals that I modified to make cars, or scrap car tires that I played with like all the children in the neighborhoods of my childhood.
Since my adolescence, I always wanted to be a judge or a magistrate. This desire came naturally in the face of the injustice that I suffered with my family in the different neighborhoods where I lived with my mother, my sisters, and my little brother. As a child, I was discriminated against and mocked because of my foreign name in the community where I lived, even at school.
I wanted to be able to defend my mother and people who face discrimination and are in vulnerable circumstances. That’s why I enrolled in law school and wanted to obtain a master’s degree.
For fun I love listening to music and singing. I also like to practice sports and follow and promote cultural activities. Above all, I love being with my family, making discoveries, and having people around me.
Yes, I have a pet dog named Nounousse. He guards my family and prevents thieves from having access to the house because there is insecurity in my neighborhood.
If I had a superpower, I would love to fly in the air and rescue all the people in distress.
Global Fund for Children (GFC) UK Trust, created in 2006, is a UK registered charity (UK charity number 1119544). We work to generate vital income, create new fundraising opportunities, and raise awareness of the invaluable work of GFC’s grassroots grantees. Our aim is to extend the reach of GFC in the United Kingdom, Europe, and beyond.
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