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Mother Daughter Initiative Meets Dr. Ornella Umubyeyi

Dr. U August 8 2018

MDI: Tell us about your family background. Share a fond memory or experience with your mom.

Dr. Umubyeyi: I was born in Bujumbura, Burundi. I have 5 sisters and one brother. Seating together as family during a meal (especially dinner) was super important to my father. We always valued that, it was the perfect time to catch up from each other. The best memory with my mom was when she and I were in Burundi(Meridien) learning how to swim. I was young but going in that water afraid and yet seeing my mom also going in and holding so tight on the swim coach gave me relief. I have so many memories with my mom but being at the swimming pool is definitely my favorite.

MDI: Who do you attribute your success in accomplishing your life/entrepreneur goals?

Dr. Umubyeyi: God, my grandfather and my mother. They inspired me, they pushed me and mostly, they saw greatness in me.

MDI: How did your mom contribute to your level of self-esteem and or self-confidence?

Dr. Umubyeyi: My mom till this day encourages me and celebrates my successes. Her consistent expression of how proud she is of me and how she sees me go even farther motivate me and builds my self-confidence. My self-confidence will not be where it is today without my mother’s love and support.

MDI: If you could lead a workshop on empowering girls and women, what ideas or suggestions would you recommend?

Dr. Umubyeyi: If I could lead a workshop on empowering girls and women, it would be on self-image and living purposefully.

MDI: If you could teach women how to bring about more happiness into their everyday lives, what would you teach them?

Dr. Umubyeyi: I would teach them the importance of self-celebration. Self-celebration is not pride or being arrogant but celebrating who God made you and being proud of who and what you have to offer this world.

MDI: Any life lessons learned along the way?

Dr. Umubyeyi: I have learned that women will spend their whole lifetime giving compliments to other women but will hardly accept them when given to them. It’s almost as if women unconsciously believe that they were made to empower, elevate others and yet can’t see that they have not seen all that they are. For women have been taught to be in a box for if they ever leave that box and see how powerful and incredible God made them to be, the world would not know what to do with such power and strength.


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