CEMADEF, The Multidisciplinary Center for the Empowerment and Development of Women and their Families, was founded by Fanny Ukety, a Congolese native who was forced to leave her country due to the war that decimated her province of Ituri from 1996 to 2003.
In 2005, while she was based in Switzerland with her family, Fanny Ukety decided to make a visit back home to her province, regardless of the insecurity which dominated the region. Her objective was to find her family members and friends who were unfortunately scattered throughout the East of the DRC.
This visit really touched her heart and brought a lot of grief to the point that she felt a moral obligation to do something that could rescue her Ituri sisters who were suffering in misery. One year later, with $1750 of her savings, the birth of CEMADEF in the town of Bunia became the solution for thousands of families to get out of extreme poverty.