Floriane Brown, the founder and executive director of Nibakure Children’s Village in Rwanda, will discuss the establishment of the village on Monday, Sept. 15, at 4 p.m. at Hope College in the Fried/Hemenway Auditorium of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication through the college’s Global French Studies Colloquium.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
Nibakure Children’s Village is an orphanage that both cares for 20 orphaned children and supports education of other children in the local community. Located in Nyamata approximately 20 miles southeast of Rwanda’s capital of Kigali, the children’s village first began housing orphans in 2011. The village’s objectives include to eventually provide a safe haven for 120 children at a time and to provide 100 percent of the operating budget through sustainable income sources.
Hope students, faculty and staff have been involved with the village since 2008 through the leadership of BeHope, a student-led initiative that operates under the auspices of the office of the dean for international and multicultural education. Students in multiple departments have studied in Rwanda and spent time at the village, including through a May Term course and an internship in the Department of Global French Studies. The nation’s official languages are Kinyarwanda, French and English.
A native of Rwanda, Brown has lived in the United States since 1988. She splits her time between the village in Rwanda and Nibakure’s home office in St. Paul, Minnesota.
She attended school in Belgium; worked as a radio broadcaster: served as a bilingual executive assistant for UNDP and UNICEF; and worked as an English teacher at the American Embassy in Rwanda. In the U.S., she has worked as an executive assistant for an investment firm; an international human resources coordinator; and a translation coordinator.
Brown has a master’s degree in counseling psychology. She is fluent in Kinyarwanda, French and English, and proficient in written Swahili.
The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave., at the corner of Columbia Avenue and 10th Street.