Former Child Soldier | Inspirational Speaker on the Ability to Create Change
Michel Chikwanine has overcome unimaginable pain and struggles. 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, the rape of his mother, and endured torture of his own. Much of his childhood was ravaged by the death and decay of a war that claimed the lives of 5.8 million people, his father included, 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.
An accomplished motivational speaker and author, Michel addresses audiences across North America. He has spoken to over 100,000 people and has shared the stage with such distinguished speakers as Free The Children founders Craig and Marc Kielburger, Dr. Jane Goodall, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., former Prime Minister Paul Martin, His Holiness The Dalai Lama, former U.S Vice-President Al Gore, Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sr., Nobel Peace Prize laureate Betty Williams, actress Mia Farrow and musician K’naan, 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.
Michel is also the author of the graphic novel, Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls are Used in War.
Sharing his personal story, Michel has captured the attention of national media, including CBC, CTV and major daily newspapers.