Meet Justin Mbumba, the 24 year old co-founder and executive director of the Mfana Network Foundation, co-founder of the Global Hero’s Platform and founder of the Mbumba Children’s Foundation from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
On this day, International Children's Day, we celebrate the work of this incredible young changemaker and his contribution to improving the lives of children.
Justin was born the first of 10 children in a poor family, growing up without basic services such as electricity and spending his early years begging for sweets on the streets of the DRC. Justin developed a passion for volunteering, problem solving, sexual and reproductive health, climate change and entrepreneurship when he was 14 and has spent the last 10 years of his life dedicated to making a difference. “While I am alive it is my duty to try and come up with solutions to the problems that I can see in my community”, Justin told us, “I try my best to do what the great Mahatma Ghandi told me to – to be the change I wish to see in this world”.
Justin has worked with numerous organisations and projects over the last 10 years from the Global Youth Movement, the Anti-AIDS society of his university, Planned Parenthood Zambia and the Agent of Change Foundation.
The Mfana Network Foundation (MNF) in Zambia, and it’s counterpart in the DRC, Global Hero’s Platform (GHP) as well as the Mbumba Children’s Foundation (MCF) are all projects that Justin has founded. MCH is a project that collects clothing, food, shoes, stationary and other items for orphaned children. Currently MCF supports 2000 orphans annually!
MNF and GHP do work in five broad areas: climate change, sexual and reproductive health, gender related issues, entrepreneurship and youth empowerment. Since 2014 when these organisations were founded, they have trained over 300 young people in these topics, run food and supplies collections for children in need, have organised conferences and training programmes in information and communication technology.
Most recently Justin has recently joined the HULT Prize Foundation, an initiative by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, which is a global student entrepreneurship competition that awards a winning team 1 million dollars.
Over his journey, the most important lesson Justin has learned is that, “alone we can be good, but together we can be so much better”. Justin told us that teamwork is key to his success and that something important that he had to do is to learn to treat people as potential partners and not as competition.
Justin is one of the mentors in our Hand Up Programme. If you are inspired by his story and want to make your own difference, join the movement or sign up to our Hand Up Programme and get mentored by him, or someone like him.
*Images courtesy of Justin