Meet Godi Godar, founder of GOConsciousEarth from the Democratic Republic Of Congo (DRC). He came to talk about story, his culture and his works in my french class. I know, I seem to meet really interesting figures in my French class. Cheers to more interesting people and French classes! Hahaha!
In short, GCE is “a nonprofit organization that exists to understand, protect and conserve Earth’s ecosystems and indigenous communities.” – GCE
So yes, he is an environmentalist who moved to the States and has been here for 28 years! He founded GCE to help his tribal land against excessive logging and environmental abuse. I could blab more about it but you can read the full story here and here.
I was really inspired by his story because not only did he leave his family and community back home to pursue better opportunities but he came back and is now making an impact; starting with his home town. He didn’t forget them.
He speaks French and English so I had the opportunity to ask him a couple of questions. Enjoy, my loves!
What inspired you to start GoConsciousEarth?
GG: My dearest mother first inspired me with GCE. She called and said “Logging companies are too involved in lake Tumba and what are we doing to protect our ancestral land?” My response and eventually my promise to her was to protect the community’s land rights and we did. Unfortunately my dearest mom passed over two years ago, the same time GCE actually started. I carry this promise with me wherever I go. Secondly, I had a dream when I was 11 years old that one day I would one day leave my tribe and return to help my people. This inspired me a lot.
What is your organization’s greatest accomplishment so far? What challenges did you face?
GG: Our greatest accomplishment is signing two concessions from DRC’s government protecting almost 1 million acres of the most resilient parts in the rainforest from deforestation and climate change. It was challenging especially when dealing with the government.
Where do you see GoConsciousEarth in the next 5 years? 10 years?
GG: In the next 5 years, GCE would have grown to help tribal communities on basic needs like schools, healthcare, clean water, transportations, foyer centers and many more. In 10 years, we hope for a more global reach with more concessions (acres of land and forests) being protected.
Tell us about someone who has an impact on who you are today. What lessons did you learn from them?
GG: As the popular saying goes “it takes a village to raise a child” so my dearest mother and my tribe in lake Tumba impacted me greatly. When I travel with my church from Chapel Hill throughout world to do mission trips the children, my mother, my family in Lake Tumba impact me the most because they remind me that is my passion and purpose in life.
Any advice for younger people wanting to follow their passions like starting a company?
GG: Believe in yourself, always speak from your heart not from your lips and no matter how people try to put you down, follow your dreams and never give up in life. We all have ability to overcome.
What is your favorite Congolese proverb and what does it mean?
GG: My favor Congolese proverb is:”Mohai momo mopohe nokola elongi” which means “More than one finger is needed to do the job. It cannot do it alone.”