Only in their twenties, Congolese sisters Sophie and Louise Kanza co-founded the Sophie A Kanza Foundation in 2014 to conduct good deeds in South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo, by recruiting African immigrant volunteers for different projects and acting as a ‘middle man’ between organizations in need and sponsors.
Having immigrated from the Democratic Republic of Congo to South Africa at three years old, Sophie and Louise suffered many hardships while growing up, and relied on the goodwill of others. The sisters founded the Sophie A Kanza Foundation in Johannesburg, South Africa to continue to pay good deeds forward.
The foundation aims to unite people from different backgrounds for a common goal: working together and using pan-Africanism to spread love and tolerance.
The goal is unity in diversity and to create a culture of good deeds, building friendships and learning from and about each other’s cultures. If the youth can become open-minded and tolerant, it is then easier to transmit these sentiments and influence others. We also focus on the fear of foreigners (Xenophobia), in this case it is the fear of the unknown. Once we work together towards making a difference we learn that we are all the same, brothers and sisters of Africa. Not enemies or threats.
We decided to use charity as the means to bring people together because we felt it was important for youth to know that they can make a difference, regardless of their nationality, race or financial status. We encourage the youth to go out and make a difference in people’s lives, everyday.
Sophie and Louise are passionate about helping young girls, youth volunteerism, sanitary issues, anti-xenophobia campaigns and working with children.
Last year, Sophie was chosen as a fellow for the prestigious Monash University South Africa LEAD (Leading Entrepreneurs for African Development) program. The rigorous selection process narrowed down 10 young leaders who head up high potential ventures that demonstrate the potential for sustained social impact.
This opportunity promises to bolster the foundation’s ability to positively impact communities in South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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