“In Congo, it is important to have people who studied and know how to use technology. We are like the first generation of doctors, except in the field of technology.”
Suzanne has lived across Congo, from Kinshasa in the west, to Goma, Butembo and now Beni in the east. She grew up with parents serving as medical practitioners. She has one brother and two sisters, one who also graduated from UCBC in economics and now works with a water company.
Suzanne grew up seeing her father’s work computer, but was not allowed to use it. Her intrigue eventually grew into a desire to study computer engineering, while also recognizing the increasingly important role technology now plays in Congo. “In Congo, it is important to have people who studied and know how to use technology. We are like the first generation of doctors, except in the field of technology.”
But, the applied sciences (which includes computer engineering) is a male dominated field. Even at UCBC there were only 4 woman out of over 20 students. Suzanne finished as the only woman because many others could not continue due to costs and a lack of familial and societal support of women’s education. This is one reason she urges CI supporters to encourage and support women to study technology in Congo.
Friendships played a huge role in helping Suzanne transition to her chosen field and to grow spiritually as well. “I was astonished about the difference between UCBC and other universities. UCBC did not have corruption. And here, I gained friends, grew spiritually, and was able to focus on my studies despite the difficulties of transition.”
Now an applied sciences graduate with a focus in computer engineering, Suzanne works in the IT Department at UCBC and for a local software company started by UCBC called SOOFSI – Solution des Offres et des Services Informatique. SOOFSI offers programming, network creation, and offers training on how to use different software programs.