The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, convened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, will take place from 23 to 24 May 2016. Following three years of extensive consultations with more than 23,000 people in 153 countries, this will be the moment for global leaders to answer their overwhelming call for a renewed commitment to humanity. Approximately 5,000 participants representing Heads of State and global leaders from government, business, aid organizations, civil society, affected communities and youth groups, are expected to attend the Summit.

Marguerite will participate in the ‘People at the Centre’ Special Session during the two-day Summit in Istanbul, Turkey. Outlining the objectives for the session, the United Nations states: “The Summit must mark a major shift in humanitarian action to truly empower affected people as the driving force of any humanitarian response.”

Having rescued over 30,000 orphaned children during the years of civil war in Burundi, Marguerite is living proof of the power of one individual to effect change for thousands.

Her approach is one of empowerment, “It is the local people who determine the kind of future that they want to build,” Marguerite Barankitse explains. “My organization Maison Shalom is now trying to finance education for refugees. I want them to go back to Burundi as doctors and agronomists, not as rebels with weapons in their hands. It’s about giving young people hope and a life with dignity.”