Kerry Byamungu, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
“My vision is to help educate women on how to use local food products. I want to empower mothers to fight malnutrition for kids under the age of 10, so their children can grow up healthy and strong. ”
Women in Development: This series focuses on the inspirational Tetra Tech women that take strides to make the world a more inclusive place.
Kerry is the administrative assistant for the Feed the Future Democratic Republic of the Congo Strengthening Value Chains (SVC), a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded activity implemented by Tetra Tech and four partners (Techno Serve, Banyan, World Coffee Research, and Search for Common Ground) in Bukavu, DRC. The SVC Activity aims to increase household incomes and access to nutrient-rich crops, including soy, beans, and specialty coffee by linking smallholder farmers to inclusive value chains and supportive market services.
Kerry uses her economic background to contribute to our team’s goals in the DRC. She enjoys working for Tetra Tech because it has provided her with opportunities to grow professionally and hone her skills in the agriculture sector to achieve her personal goal to reduce malnutrition in rural areas.
Kerry is a 2016 Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Regional Leadership Center East Africa (RLC) scholar, and a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow. The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiative is the flagship program of YALI, which empowers young professionals through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. As a fellow, she had the opportunity to meet and engage in conversation with several U.S. government representatives including Governor John Carney and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester. Kerry participated in a six-week training program at the University of Delaware in Newark, where she received managerial training in civic leadership to help her write grants, raise funds, and manage projects to improve services in her home country.
“I learned about the power of storytelling. When you are telling your story, people are learning from you. They recognize the challenges you are facing, so they can give you the advice to help you move forward,” says Kerry.
Kerry is passionate about giving back to her community; she is the founder of the Kansi Corporation, a group that equips women with local resources to fight malnutrition. “I want to empower women by providing nutritional education because education is the key,” says Kerry. She also the coordinator of the Community Service Day (CSD) in Bukavu, an activity initiated by a group of alumni in DRC that aim to volunteer with hospitals, schools, markets, disabilities Centers, Orphanages and national parks.
Now that her professional training in the U.S. is over, Kerry plans to work with her fellows to inspire the youth to apply to the fellowships and have a large network of young leaders in Africa. “By 2030, the majority of the population in Africa will be young. So if more young people are empowered, then they can make change happen,” Kerry said.