Mondiant's Story

Mondiant with children

A Bagogwe Tutsi born in Congo, Mondiant Dogon was only three when his family narrowly escaped Hutu men bent on murder. Fleeing to Rwanda, the family found themselves on a journey that included years of life in United Nations tent cities — circumstances nearly as dangerous as those they had left behind.

In spite of the conditions in the camps, Mondiant managed to scratch out an education and, with help from a sponsor, was able to go on to high school. High marks there allowed him to attend the University of Rwanda, but because he did not qualify for financial aid, he could not stay on campus. With his books in hand, he studied at the refugee camp and made the two-hour back-and-forth trip to the university for exams, graduating in 2016.

A year after returning to the camps to teach other refugees, Mondiant met former AOL CEO Tim Armstrong on Shared Studios, an online art project to connect strangers from around the world. Armstrong encouraged him to apply to graduate school at New York University. Ultimately, he earned a Master’s Degree in International Education from the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

Now, with a passion to extend the same sort of helping hand he received to other refugees, he has founded the Mondiant Initiative and is working to help his countrymen rise up as he himself has risen.

From a Burnt-Out Refugee Camp to Dining With the President

Recorded and released in 2022 on BBC Outlook, Mondiant tells his story from a new perspective in his featured interview with Emily Webb.

Our Beliefs & Values

Our Mission

We are a refugee-founded organization, formed to invest in providing support services that empower, educate and engage refugees.

Our Vision

We see a world where refugees have the opportunity to find and fulfill their potential, achieve self-sufficiency, and contribute to the world around them.

Impact Statement

Through the provision of pathways to higher education and advanced vocational training, the Mondiant Initiative fulfills its Mission and Vision. We provide and invest in services that empower, educate, and engage refugees. Our efforts result in greater opportunities for recovery from displacement, achievement of self-sufficiency, engagement in community capacity building and the creation of sustainable quality of life for refugees and their families.

Our Core Values

Responsibility & Transparency

We hold ourselves, those we serve, and those we encounter on behalf of the organization to the highest levels of ethical behavior, integrity, and sound fiscal stewardship. We commit to practices that promote efficiency and effectiveness, taking care to maximize our impact and our donor dollars.

Respect & Acceptance

We are grounded in our shared humanity and actively engage in our work with humility and compassion. We’re at our best when we honor the equal dignity and worth of all people.

Inclusivity & Authenticity

We recognize and seek to celebrate the unique and valuable personhood of all. In the pursuit of our Vision and the fulfillment of our Mission we commit to reducing stigmas, empowering individuals experiencing displacement and supporting their efforts to polish their own potential.

Resilience & Courage

We acknowledge adversity, challenge, and complexity as constants in our work and commit to tackling each with the needed tenacity, creativity, and innovative passion to get the hard things done and serve our Mission and Vision.

Healer of Broken Souls

After coming to America in 2017, Mondiant knew he wanted to go back and impact the refugees he grew up with. He created Healer of Broken Souls, the predecessor of Mondiant Initiative, to achieve just that. Mondiant collected women’s stories of war and rape, and provided education and support services to heal and empower refugees. Soon after, Mondiant Initiative was born.

Kiziba Refugee camp healer of broken souls
Nyabiheke refugee camp Healer of Broken Souls
Gihembe refugee camp healer of broken souls

Do not keep them away, they need justice to live at least,
Do not close your doors, they want to get a little rest
The land may have many sinners, the realm needs many priests
To beg almighty God for refugees and migrants’ peace
We are thousands of youth on this Mountain,
We are conquerors, we quell earthquakes
We are weaned from school due to funds,

It’s a burden,

It’s a border against our bright future,
Bear this in mind: we no longer play for fun
Those we throw away are diamonds

Mondiant Dogon

CEO/Founder, Mondiant Initiative
Author, Poet, Refugee

Photo of Mondiant

The Mondiant Initiative Team

We believe that every refugee deserves the chance to unlock their potential. Learn more about the people dedicating their time and talent towards revealing the diamond in every refugee.