Our mission is to empower refugee women with tools and resources to enhance and develop their skills through education to successfully integrate and become self sufficient and independent into American society while still maintaining respective cultural values.
Our ultimate vision is to ensure that refugee women can live dignified lives, with financial independence and a support system to guarantee them success despite the enormous obstacles in their way.
MEET CHANTAL MUHUMURE
Founder of Umoja Abq
I , Chantal Muhumure, mother of three children and thirteen years of marriage, am passionate about empowering refugee women in education. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Information Technology and post graduate in education teaching and vocational training for women. In Rwanda, I was an instructor in different colleges, this gave me a lot of strength to be a leader.
As a refugee woman who has faced many challenges of integration in The United States, I found that it is beneficial to empower women in vocational and education training, which can improve their lives. This gave me motivation to help women refugees to success in new country and new live style.
I have been a leader of Umoja community group for Refugee women in Greensboro, North Carolina which was sponsored by University of North Carolina in Greensboro. Then I was working with New Arrivals Institute as Refugee School Impact Program, where I was helping women to learn English and organizing them to be in community, as well as teach them how to raise kids in a new culture. I also prepared them to be independent and self-sufficient. Since 2013 I started working with Refugee resettlement agencies, where I had chance to meet different refugee women, many of them did not get a chance to be educated. With languages barriers, it has been hard for them to be integrated into a new country and culture, I was able to hold many educational workshops, with topics covering how they can be integrated.
When I finished my studies in computer engineering and Information Technology, I started working as an instructor in the computer department which gave me tremendous experience interacting with different students, many of whom were mostly girls who loved my club (where I was advising girls to join science and technology fields). A few years later, I had my post graduate in teaching and learning, which makes me qualified in teaching for colleges and university in Rwanda. I had a chance to do a different program abroad (vocational development program for women and public sector management) which was beneficial for different women and girls in Rwanda.
In 2017 when I moved in Albuquerque, I found that many refugee women have the same challenges that I experienced and that gives me passion to empower women in education, vocational training and how they can integrate in new county. Now I am a leader of a refugee women’s empowerment organization called Umoja Abq in Albuquerque working with community organizations across the city.
Due to my volunteer work in community and experience I have worked with Albuquerque Public Schools as a Refugee Student Specialist. I speak: French, Swahili, Kirundi, Kinyarwanda, Kinyamulenge and English