Emmanuel BARAKA is the last born in his family of four children and a father to four children as well. I consider being part of a family and being a father as the biggest opportunity to live my leadership, to reflect and better understand who I am. It is an environment where you implement your loving capacity, your forgiving ability and your commitment spirit to different engagements.
I have a License degree in Social and Economic law, from Goma University since 2010. I have not joined the law farm because of a system I consider to be full of injustice and corruption. I was feeling more concerned by the stress young people were going through after losing parents, losing their homes and lands and living in hopeless conditions with no vision. After university, I decided to go to Uganda to get some training in entrepreneurial leadership and this is when I met the AYLF Family of friends. My vision of a peaceful, developed Congolese community where all visitors are welcome into an environment of happiness and justice is what made me believe in AYLF.
The reason is that since 1992 in my early childhood, I have experienced war, insecurity and poverty. I do not want the future generation to go through the same tragedy. I have lived in tribal wars, political wars, and rebel movements up to now. My belief is that young people who have experienced the drama and the war, like me, have a unique opportunity to create change in this country and in the region, if not today, then tomorrow or after tomorrow. The best way of achieving this, is the understanding that youths who have been used for evil, and criminalities can be used for good things, for peace and development. None of us in this generation would wish someone to experience what we have experienced; even we cannot wish it to those who did it to us. The reason is that violence, revenge and war will not have peace as a result. “We cannot solve the problem with the same mindset that created it”.
The President Kennedy once mentioned that: "Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind." (Kennedy).
My commitment has been to bring together young people to develop values of love, integrity, long term friendship and equality.
I met AYLF when I was hopeless, discouraged and fighting with myself for being born in DR Congo. The only reason was unstoppable wars and insecurity. Because all the efforts that we were trying were always thrown down by insecurity and wars. Since 2014, we have developed more than 15 AYLF small groups in different universities across the Country, we have been able to organize 3 AYLF francophone youth gatherings that brought together students from Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and different provinces in the DR Congo. We have trained hundreds of young people in transformational and Jesus centered leadership. This has given opportunities to many young people to overcome the barriers created by stereotypes and cultural differences. I have seen marriages between young Congolese and the countries in the region after these trainings, which makes me believe that it is possible to let go of the past full of divisions and build together a better future.
With all these, I am positive about the future, I know it will not be easy to reach there, but I have great hope because I do not feel alone in this vision.