Michel Chikwanine

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 grew up amid the terror of the Great War of Africa. He witnessed the torture of his father, who was singled out for his political beliefs, the rape of his mother and endured torture of his own. Much of Michel’s childhood was ravaged by the death and decay of a war that claimed the lives of 5.8 million people, his father included.

Forced to leave his home as a refugee at the age of 11, Michel has since travelled to many African countries, witnessing first-hand the problems facing the developing world, but also the beauty of the communities and people who live there.

Today, Michel is an accomplished motivational speaker, addressing audiences across North America. He has spoken to over 100,000 people and has shared the stage with such speakers as Craig and Marc Kielburger, founders of Free The Children, Dr. Jane Goodall, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Mia Farrow and former Prime Minister Paul Martin just to name a few. He was also a speaker on Oprah’s O Ambassadors Roots of Action speaking tour, largely reaching students at resource-poor schools. 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. Michel leaves audiences with a new perspective on life, a sense of hope through social responsibility and a desire for change.