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Fredrick Wangabo Mwenengabo
Canadian Values

Time 0:03:41

Transcript:

(Translated from French)
I really love peace, I really love democracy, but even more than that: I love cultural values. I love traditions that respect everyone , where everyone can contribute. Where everyone ishelpful, important, and those are the values I find in Canada. I have never regretted being here in Canada.

One of my colleagues, human rights defender Floribert Chebeya. He returned to stay in the Congo, and he was killed—just like that. He was massacred, and uh, yes , there’s a justice process, influenced by the international community, but he’s already dead. I’ve known many people, colleagues, who were killed like that: lost in the pages of history. Last time, another colleague, Dr. Denis Mukwege, a... gynecologist who they tried to kill, they wanted to kill him, uh, one month, one month and a half ago , and now he has left the country. He’s a colleague with whom I received an award, for peace and human rights, from Solidarity Group in Washington, D.C. But it’s people like that, and I think if I’d stayed in the Congo, maybe I’d be dead.

So I’ve never regretted being here. For me being here now, I understand that this country, Canada, has given me all I have; so I need to give back too. So I must work to improve this country and help if anything needs to be corrected. I must defend the values of the country if I need to. That’s how I see it.

But I also say, “I am a citizen of the world.” I must continue to work for my values: the values of peace, of democracy in the Congo, which are also the values of Canada and of Canadians. And so, for me, I am a small man as part of a great man; a little thinker in a big country of thinkers, and together, when we combine our efforts, I’m convinced we have or will have a world of peace, a world of prosperity.

Biography:
Fredrick Wangabo Mwenengabo was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1975. He experienced discrimination at an early age due to his ethnic background. This discrimination encouraged him to become an advocate for peace and human rights. Fredrick earned a master’s degree in anthropology at L’Université de Kisangani and a diploma in human rights from the University of Nairobi.

Government forces were suspicious of Fredrick’s activism and he was frequently harassed and even tortured. In 2005, he was arrested, put on trial and accused of trying to overthrow the government. Fredrick escaped to Uganda where he worked for Amnesty International.

Fredrick came to Canada in 2009 because living in Uganda had become too dangerous. He immigrated to Fredericton, New Brunswick and earned a teaching diploma from the University of New Brunswick. Fredrick currently teaches anthropology and development courses at the University of New Brunswick. Since arriving in Canada, Fredrick has worked for the Multicultural Association of Fredericton, the Canadian Council for Refugees and the New Brunswick African Association. He is also still involved with Amnesty International.

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