Furaha Antoinette, originally from Democratic Republic of the Congo, currently lives in Canada, Ontario. She is a community activist and ally for African women and refugees. She was given the Anzisha award by the African Leadership Academy which is given to African young entrepreneurs for helping solve the problems facing their communities. She was also among the nominees for Global Change Maker in 2011.
In 1997, Antoinette’s home was attacked by militias, killing many of her people including her father. As a young child, her sisters and brother, along with her mother were able to escape together to seek refuge in Uganda. Over time, her family was resettled to Kyangwali Refugee Settlement. In Kyangwali, access to education, health care, and any extra human services were extremely limited. But with courage from others, she was able to complete primary school and join secondary school. Although many girls at the time were denied education in the settlement, she managed through and in 2015 was proud to graduate from high school. She also graduated from an entrepreneurship program offered by Educate.
Antoinette is one of the founding members of the Coburwas International Youth Organization (CIYOTA). Antionette was one of the few female founding members of this incredible organization which has given hope to so many refugee students and nationals with access to secondary school and university education for pursuing their dreams. Through CIYOTA, Antoinette founded a women’s focused microfinance group. With the help of Jeane L. from Colorado and many other supporters, Antoinette made the journey to Canada where she is currently based. She and her husband are committed to supporting their local community of immigrants and refugees and run many projects serving their local communities.
“I love working with women, especially solving the challenges they face on a daily basis through business and entrepreneurship. Having been brought up by a single mother, I am determined to work and help as many women as possible. I understand what African women endure every day, and which sometimes limits women and girls from accessing certain opportunities.”