Msenwa Oliver Mweneake was born and happily lived most of his childhood in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is the only boy of eight children. In 1996, war broke out in eastern Congo. As a fifteen-year-old, he witnessed the merciless killing of friends, neighbours and family. He managed to reunite with his family and lived five years in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp (Tanzania) where his family still lives. Msenwa was fortunate to complete his high school at Institut de l’Amitie in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp in 2000 before returning to DR Congo to promote peace and reconciliation among his people. He survived further atrocities and became a refugee in both Kenya and Burundi.
While in Kenya, Msenwa enrolled at Hope Africa University to study Social Work and Community Development, yet had no funds to support his education. A year later, in 2004, the school was moved to Burundi and he faced further financial challenges. He prayed and trusted God for the means to continue studying. Through the sponsorship of an anonymous donor from the U.S.A., he completed his undergraduate degree in 2007. Msenwa returned to Kenya in 2009 as a refugee and was blessed to be sponsored to immigrate to Canada by the FreeWay Free Methodist Church. While waiting to immigrate, through the support of an anonymous donor from Canada, Msenwa completed a Master of Leadership and Business from Pan Africa Christian University in Kenya. Upon arrival in Canada, Msenwa completed a Master of Social Work at the University of Waterloo.
Through perseverance and determination, Msenwa has emerged as a Social Worker who uses his lived experience to empower others. He has practised social work in Africa and as a bilingual senior Social Worker at the Hincks-Dellcrest Centre in Toronto providing therapy to diverse children and families and currently works in Durham Region as a Social Worker. He is particularly interested in how policies affect the practice of macro social work, effective leadership, trauma and migration.
Through this memoir, Msenwa aims to raise awareness about the needs of his people in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp and DR Congo. Proceeds from this book, as well as the Msenwa Foundation, established by Msenwa and his wife Miriam, will provide various supports, including educational assistance to Congolese in DR Congo and Nyarugusu Refugee Camp.