Young Leader Projects: Esther


“The future of the DRC is in our hands.”

This simple, yet powerful quote comes from CLI young leader Esther. Esther, a student passionate about making a difference in the Congo, was chosen to take part in CLI’s Leadership Accelerator in July 2012.

Recently, Esther has put her CLI training into action. “Operation Collection Bags and Plastic Bottles” has been initiated by Esther in Masina, one of the communities in Kinshasa. Kinshasa is the capital of the DRC, and with a population of around 10 million, it is no surprise that trash accumulates rapidly throughout the city. Esther took notice of the unsanitary environment of her hometown, and the health and environmental problems stemming from it.

She put together a plan to tackle this issue, and to keep it from being a problem in the future. Esther mobilized the young people and community leaders in Masina, saying “we must be exemplary and lead by concrete actions to influence others.” Partnering with her community and the Urban Sanitation Program of Kinshasa, Esther has been working to clean up the trash in her community as well as raise awareness about the consequences of living in an unsanitary environment. Her extraordinary leadership skills have grown throughout the project.  They can be seen through her interaction with other young people in her community as she urges them to join her as she shows others how they can make an important difference in their community.

Esther’s next steps are to expand the project to Kinshasa as a whole. CLI is proud of Esther, and all our young leaders, who are putting their passion into action! In Esther’s own words, “We cannot wait for the state to do everything. We must realize we are part of the state and we can make a difference.”

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