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Gabriel Ndende

Gabriel Ndende

The Democratic Republic of the Congo
Biography collected and written by Divine Irakoze


Gabriel Ndende is a young Refugee living in Dzaleka. Gabriel was born in the South Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and he is the eldest in his family of eleven children. His family was forced to relocate to Dzaleka in Malawi due to insecurity. While a student in the Congo, other students in his class recognized his abilities in science and requested that he help them with their studies. At the age of fourteen, he therefore created a part-time class that students would attend after their normal school time. The experience quickly developed into not only a remedial class, but also a course in how to deal with personal conflict, with the aim of making the younger generation from his community motivated to bring peace that his country has lacked for decades.

Soon after getting to Malawi, he learned that life was not so easy. A few months in, a friend connected him to a fellow Burundian refugee Noel, who owned a shop in the capital city of Lilongwe and was in need of a worker who would be responsible for selling Mandazi (donuts) around the Lilongwe streets. Gabriel saw this as a great opportunity for him to develop financially and become able to support himself as well as his family. Gabriel was being paid MWK 10,000. After a period of six months, he retired from the job. Later on, he managed to start his own local bakery, delivering to shops in Lilongwe with help from his uncle. Gabriel decided to return to Dzaleka in 2017, leaving his uncle with the shop. the shop was later brought back to the camp in 2021 when all refugees in Malawi were forced to return to the camp to do their business in Dzaleka. This was a very big loss to Gabriel and his uncle.

During his high school years in Dzaleka, he joined and worked with community-based organizations Vijana Africa and Pax Mundi as a member and a volunteer. Gabriel is currently the Dzaleka Project Coordinator for Little Acts of Kindness, a volunteer organization based in Calgary, Canada. His job is to keep the Little Acts team updated on current conditions and events, and to help generate articles about life for orphans and elderly camp residents. All these experiences led him to create his own Community-Based Organization called Community For Better Life:

Despite all the challenges that Gabriel went through, he is still determined to support his family. His life goal is to deliver support to any group of people that needs it, especially in education, because he believes that education is the most powerful weapon to eradicate poverty. He also plans on becoming a great entrepreneur someday, as he loves entrepreneurship.

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