Kave Bulambo

At the age of 17 Kave Bulambo fled the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, spending a year in refugee camps before crossing into South Africa. Unperturbed, she finished high school and received a scholarship allowing her to study for a degree in Psychology at Harvard University. She returned to South Africa and, despite struggling to get permanent residence, considers herself unaffected by her refugee status. In 2008 she realised others weren’t as lucky and founded the non-profit Women Across Borders, offering social support and English literacy skills to female refugees. During the day she is a training and assessment officer at Gold Peer Education, where she is involved in the implementation of youth leadership programmes. Thanks to the 28-year-old’s efforts, her daughter Abigail will be part of a new generation of professional women we ought to be proud to call South African, regardless of what is written in their passports. — Rudi Benadé