Mireille Tushiminina’s name means “light to the moon.” It describes perfectly how much of a light and treasure she really is.
She came into our television studio wearing a sense of confidence that comes from knowing who you are in the world, what you’ve come from and where you are going. Mireille opened up in a way that is a producer’s dream. She is honest, reflective, optimistic and willing to push herself to get where she believes she needs to be.
Mireille was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo where she dreamed about being a physician. She came to America to further her education. However, she never left behind the Congo’s culture which she describes so fondly as a lot of laughter, parties and camaraderie with everyone.
One of her big goals is the female empowerment of women in Africa. Mireille believes she is living proof of the progress that women are making, and that her life experiences and struggles have only enhanced her abilities.
She spends her days working at The Massachusetts General Hospital and runs the Shalupe Foundation. Shalupe means “lifeboat,” and focuses on education and raises awareness about rape. During the war in the Congo, over 5 million women and children were raped. Also, the threat of rape was used as a weapon. This is why Mireille believes that the dialogue about these issues is vital.
Mireille believes her ability to do this work comes from a deep sense of what her true passion and goals are for Africa.
“It’s all about changing my network. That’s how you meet people, who are doing similar work.”
She has been a recipient of various awards, but aside from her professional role in the African and Boston community, Mireille is a mother. Mireille said that life is a journey and that hers has been a race.
“I have come across barriers and many challenges but at the end of the race, you want to be able to pass the baton to the next person.”
Her plans for the future include the possibility of moving back to the Congo, although the United States has also become her home.
“I am a Congolese- American,” Mireille said.
She is a symbol of hope, faith and true strength. Mireille is changing the lives of children and their families, and most importantly her own.