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A former child soldier, Michel Chikwanine has already endured and overcome unimaginable pain and struggles. His passion and belief in the possibility for change makes him a truly remarkable individual and humanitarian.

Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Michel Chikwanine has experienced civil war, political upheaval and poverty, emerging as an individual wise beyond his years. Forced by these circumstances to leave his home country at the age of 11 as a refugee, Michel has since traveled to 35 African countries, witnessing firsthand the problems faced by the developing world, but also the beauty of the communities and people who live there.

Much of his childhood was ravaged by the death and decay of a war that claimed the lives of 5.8 million people, including his father, and forced him to be a child soldier. Michel now inspires people to believe in their ability to make a difference and leaves audiences with a new perspective on life, a sense of hope through social responsibility and a desire for change.

Today, Michel is an accomplished motivational speaker and the co-author of Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War. Michel addresses audiences across North America and has spoken to over 100,000 people. As a WE Day speaker he has shared the stage with such distinguished speakers as WE Charity, WE Day and ME to WE Co-founders Marc & Craig Kielburger, Dr. Jane Goodall, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, and Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sr. to name a few. He was a speaker on Oprah’s O’Ambassadors Roots of Action speaking tour, largely reaching students at resource-poor schools.

By sharing his personal story, Michel has captured the attention of national media, including CBC, CTV and major daily newspapers, as he inspires people to believe in their ability to create change.

 

 

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Presentations

  • A Journey to Hope: From Child Soldier to Activist

    An educational and inspirational speech that will give you the tools to start making a difference today. Inspiring for all audiences

    A former child soldier, Michel Chikwanine has already endured and overcome unimaginable pain and struggles. His passion and belief in the possibility for change makes him a truly remarkable individual and humanitarian.

    In this 50-minute presentation, Michel details his incredible story of being a child soldier, his miraculous escape, and subsequent fight to end an issue that has affected his entire life. It is an uplifting, inspirational, and deeply personal talk that will bring forth laughter and emotions from all audiences. He details his fight with trauma and how drumming and storytelling have helped him find healing and purpose

  • Courage to Overcome Fear

    Inspirational and Educational
    (suitable for all audiences including elementary and middle schools that are interested in speaking about bullying, overcoming fear and succeeding.)

    Michel Chikwanine’s childhood was characterized by incredible trauma, perseverance and courage. Despite his difficult past, he’s succeeded against all odds. This keynote focuses on the story of Michel, a young Congolese man guided by family, resolution, and fierce determination.

    In his deeply moving and inspirational talk, Michel will speak about perseverance and overcoming fear as important aspects of his personal foundation, and how they can be harnessed to achieve success in any industry.

     

  • Leadership

    As a child soldier, Michel Chikwanine grew up under a dictator who exemplified all the qualities of a terrible leader.

    In this deeply personal presentation, Michel looks at inspiring African leaders who have left positive legacies across the continent, and the meaning and importance of good leadership. He highlights ways we can learn from their admirable qualities for us to be more impactful leaders – in the world and in the workplace. Good leadership isn’t just a skill for special people, but a quality that all of us possess.

  • Refugee to Author: My Canadian Journey

    In 1998, Michel and his family were forced to leave everything they had because of his father’s dedication to his human rights work. In this presentation, Michel speaks about the difficult journey refugees must take to survive, and his move to Canada where he was accepted and encouraged by a community that embraced him and helped him thrive.

A Journey to Hope: From Child Soldier to Activist

An educational and inspirational speech that will give you the tools to start making a difference today. Inspiring for all audiences

A former child soldier, Michel Chikwanine has already endured and overcome unimaginable pain and struggles. His passion and belief in the possibility for change makes him a truly remarkable individual and humanitarian.

In this 50-minute presentation, Michel details his incredible story of being a child soldier, his miraculous escape, and subsequent fight to end an issue that has affected his entire life. It is an uplifting, inspirational, and deeply personal talk that will bring forth laughter and emotions from all audiences. He details his fight with trauma and how drumming and storytelling have helped him find healing and purpose

Courage to Overcome Fear

Inspirational and Educational
(suitable for all audiences including elementary and middle schools that are interested in speaking about bullying, overcoming fear and succeeding.)

Michel Chikwanine’s childhood was characterized by incredible trauma, perseverance and courage. Despite his difficult past, he’s succeeded against all odds. This keynote focuses on the story of Michel, a young Congolese man guided by family, resolution, and fierce determination.

In his deeply moving and inspirational talk, Michel will speak about perseverance and overcoming fear as important aspects of his personal foundation, and how they can be harnessed to achieve success in any industry.

 

Leadership

As a child soldier, Michel Chikwanine grew up under a dictator who exemplified all the qualities of a terrible leader.

In this deeply personal presentation, Michel looks at inspiring African leaders who have left positive legacies across the continent, and the meaning and importance of good leadership. He highlights ways we can learn from their admirable qualities for us to be more impactful leaders – in the world and in the workplace. Good leadership isn’t just a skill for special people, but a quality that all of us possess.

Refugee to Author: My Canadian Journey

In 1998, Michel and his family were forced to leave everything they had because of his father’s dedication to his human rights work. In this presentation, Michel speaks about the difficult journey refugees must take to survive, and his move to Canada where he was accepted and encouraged by a community that embraced him and helped him thrive.

Testimonials

  • Last night went fabulously. We more than doubled our projected attendance, the theater was completely filled. It’s been one of the best lectures we’ve had here for quite awhile. Michel’s message was great, as I knew it would be having heard part of it at NACA central in October. All of the feedback I’ve heard so far has been positive, people liked hearing what he had to say. Working with Michel was certainly enjoyable for me. Thank you so much for working with us.

    Michel Chikwanine Courtney Current, Lecture Chair Missouri State University Student Activities Council
  • It was fantastic! Michel was incredible—of course—and all the feedback I’ve received from staff and students alike has been highly complementary. What a fantastic day, thank you so much for your help! I think Michel made about 1,000 new friends today!

    Michel Chikwanine Laura Kirby-McIntosh, Cawthra Park Secondary School
  • Your speech has reinforced in me a strong will to do what’s right, to pursue greatness and to inspire others to care for one another. Your contribution to the human race will undoubtedly reign forever.

    Michel Chikwanine Todd Hedell, English Teacher, Moreno Valley, CA

Jessi Cruickshank

Host of Canada's Smartest Person & The Goods; WE Charity Ambassador; Celebrity Emcee/Host

Ashley Rose Murphy

Living With HIV/AIDS

Spencer West

World Renowned Speaker, Double Amputee, World Traveler, Perseverance, Empowerment, Human Rights

Marc Kielburger

Co-Founder WE Charity, WE Day and Me to WE, Socially-Responsible Business Leader, Best-Selling Author

Scott Hammell

Entertain and Inspire

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