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MIKE'D UP! with Mike DiCioccio

Jan 27, 2020

Evelyn’s story is heavy, it’s full of inspiration and also pain, of adversity, perseverance and of success. Evelyn, who was featured in Success Magazine, is the Founder and President of International Cild Advancement, a non-profit organization with a mission to empower orphans and underprivileged children worldwide through education, vocational training, livelihood provision and mentoring. Evelyn Kessler's family is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo; she was born in Amherst, NY. Her family left Western, NY in 1986 to return to the Congo after her father obtained his Ph.D. in Education from the University at Buffalo. She left the Congo in 1994 when the Genocide turmoil in neighboring Rwanda began to trickle into the Congo. She was fortunate to have left before the war was in full swing and traveled to Paris, France for High School then to Buffalo, NY in 1997 to continue her education. She obtained her Bachelor's in Business Administration degree from Medaille college. She recognized how blessed she was to not be a victim of the Congolese war which caused over 5 million deaths including some of her family members. Recognizing she too could have been an orphan or could have faced brutal violence like many others, she has made it her mission to help orphans and underprivileged children not only in her family's country of origin but in other countries around the world. Evelyn was among other Social Entrepreneurs celebrated by Afrimpact Magazine for her work empowering disadvantaged children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Evelyn states “We have all heard the saying that it takes a village to raise a child, my goal is to help people see that we live in a global village therefore when we help these disadvantaged children get educated and become self sustaining, it benefits all of us in the long run." What an inspiration! My conversation with Evelyn was a true privilege and her shared experiences and stories really opened my eyes and my heart!