Current Interns

Victoria Gray

I am a senior Business Administration and Global Studies double major with Philosophy and Peace and Justice double minors. My whole life I have been determined to help others in need, whether it was locally or globally. When I had first heard about the horrific violence women are facing in the Democratic Republic of Congo, I immediately felt a tug to help. I had met Cleophace when he presented about Vermont Ibutwa's mission and work in one of my classes, and knew that this was an organization I wanted to support. For my internship I have been working on a proposal to the Burlington City Council for a education program on Conflict Minerals, grant research and writing, and updating the organization's Facebook page. It has been empowering to work with a Cleophace and the rest of the Project Management Committee. I am very proud of Vermont Ibutwa and the work that they are doing locally in educating Vermonters and globally by providing life changing support for women in the Congo.

Abigail Griffin

I am a senior French major with a minor in business and in global studies at Saint Michael’s College.  I have always been interested in giving back to the global community and helping others in whatever ways I can, so, when I learned about Ibutwa I thought it was the perfect opportunity to use my skills to aid this great organization.  The mission of Ibutwa is very inspiring and I am grateful to work with so many passionate people.  My role as an intern consists of translating documents from French to English, attending project management committee meetings, giving presentations about Ibutwa and my internship to French classes on campus, and fundraising.  I am proud of the work Ibutwa does and I am happy that I can contribute my skills.

Madeline Welch

Media Intern

I am a Spanish major with Business and Global Studies minors.  I wanted to work with Ibutwa because they are dedicated to supporting strong women in the Congo that have faced unimaginable hardships and violence, but yet are so resilient and empowered, raising awareness about an issue that is too often overlooked.  I have been working on updating and redesigning the website, editing Ibutwa fundraising videos, taking the minutes of Project Management Commitee meetings and raising awareness about the reality of sexual violence in the Congo.

Previous Interns

 
Emily Burns

As an intern in 2015 at The Vermont Ibutwa Initiative through Saint Michael's College, I gained valuable insight into the work and logistics of running non-profits as well as translation experience. But more importantly, I was able to learn from and collaborate with a group of people that were committed to its mission of creating true change in the lives of the women and children it was created to serve. For this reason, I have remained a volunteer and continue to dedicate my time to an organization that is determined to create positive change in the world around it.

Grant Crichfield
Emeritus Associate Professor of Romance Languages (French)

The original impetus for me to offer to translate for Ibutwa was the inspiring and moving talk Cléophace gave for the Alliance Française of the Lake Champlain Region on the terrible plight of women and their children in South Kivu province. When he put out a call for translators, I responded with the thought that this would be a way for me to contribute a small but concrete way to Ibutwa’s efforts.

 

Further, for me, Ibutwa’s goals dovetail with those of The Caroline Fund, a charity my family runs here to help women in crisis; this fund was created to honor our daughter/sister who was killed in an incident of domestic violence. But other personal and professional interests also motivate me: throughout my professional life as a university teacher of French and francophone studies I have much enjoyed doing many kinds of translations.

 

Finally, Ibutwa translations have taught me a great deal on a wide variety of subjects ranging from specificities of women’s lives in Eastern Congo to pig husbandry to psycho-social support and much more. And so my reasons for contributing to Ibutwa are myriad but, above all, it is a privilege to be able to contribute in a small way to an organization whose goals and programs I very much support and admire.

Janet Whatley
Professor Emerita of French

I first heard about the IBUTWA project through a talk that Cléophace Mukeba gave at the Alliance Française several years ago.  It was a moving and disturbing presentation about the terrible situation of many women in Congo—a situation that we knew something about, but not in the detail that Cléophace offered that evening.

 

Some months later, the Alliance Française sent out a message asking for volunteers to translate documents about the work of IBUTWA from French to English (or, occasionally, English to French).  Since I had done translation work before, and have always enjoyed it, I was happy to respond.

 

This has been very rewarding work.  It has given me a certain kind of access to the realities of life in Congo, particularly for these vulnerable women and their children.  The documents have taught me about the medical problems and their treatment; the efforts to get schooling for the children; the courageous efforts of the woman to make themselves economically independent through small business and farming enterprises.

 

I admire greatly the tireless efforts of the staff in the field as they resolve problems of many  kinds.  It has been a privilege to be able to make a contribution, however small, to this admirable and life-saving project.

Emma Jean

 

I am a junior Biology major with a Chemistry and Peace and Justice double minor. I have always had lots of passion for women's rights and women's health issues. When taking one of my Peace and Justice classes we spent about a month studying the Congo. Cleophace came into our class as a guest speaker to talk about Vermont Ibutwa and the amazing work they do. We spent several weeks doing a service project for Ibutwa and after that, I knew I wanted to continue the work. Working with driven passionate people and knowing that we are making a huge difference in the world has been an amazing experience! 

Bryanna Young

 

My name is Bryanna Young and I am a senior at Saint Michael's College studying French and Business. I became interested in working for Ibutwa after taking a class titles African Perspectives and became aware of the need for help in the Congo. I am excited to be apart of making a difference in these women's lives.  

Bernadette Kyendamina

Assistant

Bernadette is a freshman at Burlington High School. She helped design/create of the former Ibutwa website. Bernadette assists in updating and structuring the website, raising awareness for the children on the Congo on education. Also, as a teenager; Bernadette brings another view point and advises the director on what can capture the audience and finding new ways to bring in new users. 

Samantha Segalas-Shaw

Graphic Design Intern

 

Samantha is a rising senior Graphic Design major at Champlain College and Graphic Design Intern at the Vermont Ibutwa Initiative. Sam's designs include Ibutwa's logo, social media banners, Ibutwa educational collateral (brochures), posters, and more. Sam is also responsible for Ibutwa public outreach efforts.

Volunteers

 

Alexa Canzano

Ibutwa has taught me to care for something greater than myself. It gave me the opportunity to build bridges with people on the other side of the world, people I may not even get the pleasure of meeting one day. This time last year, I was quite ignorant to the issues taking place in the eastern DRC and the history behind it.  It has been such a pleasure getting to meet many members of the team and understanding the hard work they put into trying to help rebuild these women’s lives and lift them up. I am so grateful for the opportunity Ibutwa gave me to work with them and achieve a more loving and sustainable world.

Former Volunteers

Lily Mason

Lily has been volunteering with Ibutwa since 2015, the day after she learned about the conflict mineral issue and Ibutwa's dynamic approach to supporting survivors of gender based sexual violence in a Globalization class. She organized many events while working for Champlain College's Center for Service & Sustainability to educate the institution while raising money to expand Ibutwa's programs. During undergrad, she joined the conflict free mineral campus initiative, as well as submitted a conflict free minerals resolution to the City of Burlington in March of 2018. She is still advocating to get Burlington's resolution passed with current interns. She is always happy to partner with other groups who do empowerment work for a just and sustainable future!

Grant Crichfield
Emeritus Associate Professor of Romance Languages (French)

The original impetus for me to offer to translate for Ibutwa was the inspiring and moving talk Cléophace gave for the Alliance Française of the Lake Champlain Region on the terrible plight of women and their children in South Kivu province. When he put out a call for translators, I responded with the thought that this would be a way for me to contribute a small but concrete way to Ibutwa’s efforts.

 

Further, for me, Ibutwa’s goals dovetail with those of The Caroline Fund, a charity my family runs here to help women in crisis; this fund was created to honor our daughter/sister who was killed in an incident of domestic violence. But other personal and professional interests also motivate me: throughout my professional life as a university teacher of French and francophone studies I have much enjoyed doing many kinds of translations.

 

Finally, Ibutwa translations have taught me a great deal on a wide variety of subjects ranging from specificities of women’s lives in Eastern Congo to pig husbandry to psycho-social support and much more. And so my reasons for contributing to Ibutwa are myriad but, above all, it is a privilege to be able to contribute in a small way to an organization whose goals and programs I very much support and admire.

Janet Whatley
Professor Emerita of French

I first heard about the IBUTWA project through a talk that Cléophace Mukeba gave at the Alliance Française several years ago.  It was a moving and disturbing presentation about the terrible situation of many women in Congo—a situation that we knew something about, but not in the detail that Cléophace offered that evening.

 

Some months later, the Alliance Française sent out a message asking for volunteers to translate documents about the work of IBUTWA from French to English (or, occasionally, English to French).  Since I had done translation work before, and have always enjoyed it, I was happy to respond.

 

This has been very rewarding work.  It has given me a certain kind of access to the realities of life in Congo, particularly for these vulnerable women and their children.  The documents have taught me about the medical problems and their treatment; the efforts to get schooling for the children; the courageous efforts of the woman to make themselves economically independent through small business and farming enterprises.

 

I admire greatly the tireless efforts of the staff in the field as they resolve problems of many  kinds.  It has been a privilege to be able to make a contribution, however small, to this admirable and life-saving project.

Would You Like To Contribute Your Talents? Contact Us!

For more information call
(802) 324-8936

Ibutwa is exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 501(c)(3).

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