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Marie Jocelyne Kangah | Cote d'Ivoire


What do you do in your home country and what do you hope to do upon your return? In particular, with the integration of your experiences here?

In my home country, professionally I am an engineer, in real sciences and risk management. I am also a consultant in micro-insurance and micro-finance, and I am working with two organizations. One focuses on children’s rights and the other is working with one township in my country called Abobo, working to empower the people who live there and help to give them more opportunities.

When I go home, I would like to build a free access library and computer learning center for the people of this community to help expand their opportunities. To help this library to not run solely off of donations, it would be my goal to also work with the women of the township to create a business where they will work, and part of the profits from this business would go to the running of the library.

What is your favorite thing about your home country? How about Philadelphia?

My favorite thing about home is the food. We have so many varieties of food. It is not boring, there is always something else you can try and it is all so good.

My favorite thing about Philadelphia so far is when I visited West Philadelphia, and the community of African Americans that live there, it was like I was with my people. There is such a mix of people in Philadelphia that you do not feel like a stranger, you feel at home. People are very warm and interesting. They are approachable and come to you to learn about your country. People are very kind.

Do you have any hobbies or an interesting fact you wish to share about yourself?

I am a singer and I play the guitar. I am interested in arts events or anything involving art.

If I were to come to your home country, what is the first thing I should eat?

Alloco – it is a dish with plantains. We eat it fried. You can eat it with fish or chicken, maybe eggs. We eat a lot of tomato soup with spices and onions.