Ntama Jacques Bahati
Silver Spring, Maryland
Ntama Jacques Bahati is transforming his own experiences of violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) into a call for action within his new community in the United States.
Growing up amid war in the DRC, Jacques saw firsthand the overwhelming violence and death inflicted upon innocent people each day. Witnessing these tragedies transformed him into an advocate for his people: “My mind contains many untold stories of people’s deaths, suffering, loss, grief, fears, and gratitude for being alive today. As a Congolese, it is my duty to make sure that Congo is peaceful.”
Jacques now works to increase understanding in the US about the situation in Congo as a policy analyst for the Africa Faith and Justice Network. He has also reached out to his American religious community, helping to create a partnership between St. Anne Catholic Church in Barrington, Illinois, and Rugari Parish in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province in the DRC. Together they plan to build two schools and to work to prevent malaria.
Jacques and the Africa Faith and Justice Network are helping plan the March 30-31, 2008, conference at the Museum on the crisis in DRC, titled Connect for Congo: Working for Hope and Peace in the DRC.