“UCBC is vital to the Congolese community today because young transformed leaders are being holistically trained here and the Congolese society needs these kind of leaders.”
It’s lunch time at the Université Chrétienne Bilingue du Congo, and the Secretary of the Rector, Vivian Bwirabuli, takes a break to enjoy a beautiful, breezy day at the campus in her hometown of Beni.
While university life blossoms all around her, Vivian, 24 years old and a 2014 alumni of UCBC, reflects on why she first came to UCBC. “I decided to come to UCBC for many reasons,” she begins to explain. “UCBC’s education is based not only on academics, but spiritual growth. Also, I wanted to learn English because I realized it is a powerful language that can equip us as we face our context of globalization.”
Vivian did not necessarily consider UCBC as her first choice. Originally, she wanted to attend a university in Kisingani. But, her family encouraged her to attend UCBC because of its “values and benefits” and helped provide the means to attend.
As a student, Vivian was deeply impacted by the focus on service through the work and service-learning programs. Speaking passionately, she explains her own transformation while a student participating in these programs.
“Before attending UCBC, I liked to be served more than serving. But after attending UCBC and getting the education, I understood that it’s better to serve first than be served. It gave me the image of servant leadership as I participated in things like farming during the work program. My favorite experience was through the service learning program where I was proud to go and share with community, and particularly, Nyankunde Hospital, ways to avoid Malaria, like using mosquito nets, avoiding stagnant waters, and covering oneself in the evening. [Through these programs], I realized that everybody can contribute to the community.”
Vivian is now a committed staff member and continues to participate in the life of UCBC. She is an advocate, encouraging rising secondary [high school] students to attend UCBC because of the holistic training, and the opportunity to become a seed of transformation. She says, “UCBC is vital to the Congolese community today because young transformed leaders are being holistically trained here and the Congolese society needs these kind of leaders.”
Grateful for international and local supporters, Vivian encourages others to join as the vision of Congo Initiative because of the impact it is having in Congo and the region. “In fact,” she says, “the whole world needs holistically trained leaders to move forward.”