An illustrated portrait of Michelline Barandereka

Micheline Barandereka

During the 10 years of Micheline Barandereka’s career with the United Nations, her home country of Burundi was facing several civil wars, producing a devastating effect on her community. The high rate of uneducated and malnourished children and the high rate of poverty among rural families caused Micheline to question her conscience. She realized that if she really wanted a change within her community, she would have to go beyond her comfort zone.

Micheline decided to leave her UN work to start a local organization in a remote place and create a real impact. She founded Shekinah Center to foster social inclusion and equality. In 2017, the Burundian government awarded her a certificate of honor in recognition of the impact of the socio-economic transformation through the community development programs she had started.