Meet Valentine Mukudente, an IRC SLC Caseworker
September 2011 marks the four year anniversary for Valentine Mukundente, a Caseworker at the IRC SLC. The Caseworker position can be very busy and very stressful, but Valentine stays committed to her job. When asked how she stays motivated, she states, she loves helping refugees achieve their dreams and have a better life in America. Valentine commented “It is satisfying to see clients improve after they have been here for a while, get jobs, buy homes, you feel like you have been helpful in their lives.”
Outside of work Valentine is involved in the Rwandese community. A couple years ago Valentine got the idea to start a youth dance group in the Rwandese community to bring more cultural awareness to Americans and to keep her culture’s traditions alive. She said “I wanted the youth to know where they came from and I wanted the children to keep their language.” Over the years the purpose of the group has grown. Now it benefits the whole family. In order for youth to participate they need to do their homework and chores, and listen to their parents. The group is called the Best of Africa and they are invited to perform at weddings, events, private parties, and school and church functions. They have an amazing reputation in the community and a lot of youth are eager to become involved.
Valentine is from Rwanda and returns to her homeland about every two years. She was able to go back this summer and aside from visiting family she visited a boy’s group home she volunteers for called Le Enfants de Dieu (The Children of God). The group home gathers and serves homeless street boys to support them going back to school, reuniting with their family and becoming productive citizens in Rwanda.