Michel Chikwanine

Michel Chikwanine

Former Child Soldier, Author, Humanitarian

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 Chikwanine has experienced civil war, political upheaval and poverty, emerging as an individual wise beyond his years. Forced by these circumstances to leave his home country at the age of 11 as a refugee, Michel has since traveled to 35 African countries, witnessing firsthand the problems faced by the developing world, but also the beauty of the communities and people who live there.

Much of his childhood was ravaged by the death and decay of a war that claimed the lives of 5.8 million people, including his father, and forced him to be a child soldier. Michel now inspires people to believe in their ability to make a difference and leaves audiences with a new perspective on life, a sense of hope through social responsibility and a desire for change.

Today, Michel is an accomplished motivational speaker and the co-author of Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War. Michel addresses audiences across North America. As a WE Day speaker he has shared the stage with such distinguished speakers as WE Charity, WE Day and ME to WE Co-founders Marc & Craig Kielburger, Dr. Jane Goodall, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, and Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sr. to name a few. He was a speaker on Oprah’s O’Ambassadors Roots of Action speaking tour.

By 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.

Please contact us for more information or to book Michel Chikwanine for your next event.

    Topics 
  1. A Journey to Hope: From Child Soldier to Activist

    An uplifting and inspirational speech that will give you the tools to start making a difference today. Inspiring for all audiences

    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.

    In this 50 minute uplifting, inspirational, and deeply personal speech that will bring forth laughter and emotions from all audiences, he details his incredible story of being a child soldier, his miraculous escape and subsequent fight to end an issue that has affected his entire life. He details his fight with trauma and how drumming and storytelling have helped him find healing and purpose.

  2. Courage to Overcome Fear

    An uplifting and inspirational speech that will give you the tools to overcome your fear to succeed. Inspiring for all audiences

    Michel Chikwanine’s childhood was characterized by incredible perseverance and courage. Despite his traumatic childhood, he’s succeeded against all odds. This speech focuses on the story of a young Congolese man guided by family, courage and fierce determination.

    In his deeply moving and inspirational talk, he will speak about overcoming fear, personal perseverance as important personal pillars, that are key to being successful in any industry.

    Ideal for groups looking for a mix of inspiration and information, this presentation is also suitable for elementary and middle schools that are interested in speaking about bullying, overcoming fear and succeeding.

  3. Leadership

    Having grown up under a dictator who exemplified all the qualities of a terrible leader. In this uplifting, inspirational, and deeply personal presentation, Michel looks at inspiring African leaders that have left positive legacies across the Continent of Africa, the meaning and importance of leadership. Ultimately, he highlights ways we can learn from their qualities in order for us to be more effective leaders – in the world and in the workplace – because the ability to lead isn’t just for special people, but quality all of possess.

  4. Refugee to Author: My Canadian Journey

    In 1998, Michel and his family were forced to leave everything they’ve ever had because of his father’s work as a Human rights Activist. In this presentation, he highlights the difficult journey refugees have to make for survival, his journey to Canada where he was accepted and encouraged by a community that embraced and helped him thrive.

    Ideal for groups looking for a mix of inspiration and information, this presentation is also suitable for elementary and middle schools that are interested in speaking about bullying, overcoming fear and succeeding.

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