Amani Matabaro Tom
Founder and Executive Director, ABFEK
Amani Matabaro Tom founded Actions pour le Bien être de la Femme et de l'Enfant au Kivu, Action Kivu's Congolese partner organization, when his cousins, Kahumba and Mirenge took refuge in his home after both were raped in 2006 by Rwandan rebels known as the Interahamwe. (See their stories here and here.)
Amani and his wife Amini Bukanda wanted to find a way to provide a sense of purpose and self-worth for Kahumba and Mirenge as well as way for them to sustain themselves economically. Amini was an accomplished seamstress, and training them in sewing skills seemed the best solution. When word spread about what Amani and Amini were doing for their cousins, other victims of sexual violence asked for training, and the Kivu Sewing Workshop was born.

Amani was born in eastern Congo and like millions of others, is also a victim of the nation's violence. Both of his parents were killed in 1997 during one of the many waves of fighting there. Amani finished his education with help from his elder brother, Ephraim, and then earned a degree in Applied Pedagogy with a concentration in English Language Teaching Methodology and Translation. He has worked as an educator and interpreter for numerous international organizations including Johns Hopkins University, Boston University, United Nations Multi-National Force in the Congo (MONUC), the International Rescue Committee, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial and Museum and with Yahoo's News' war reporting project, Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone.
Amini Bukanda
Head Instructor
Amini Bukanda is a talented seamstress. She teaches students sewing and knitting skills while helping them progress in literacy through unique word embroidery projects. She also provides counseling to women in the workshop and has recruited other instructors to teach at the workshop. 'I do not like to see other people suffering', says Amini, 'this is one of the reasons why I encouraged my husband to create the Kivu Sewing Workshop, a place of comfort to women.'
Lazarus is a married father of six who works as an instructor at the workshop. He is a tailor specializing in women's clothing. He has been working in the workshop since its began and is always ready to help. Unlike others who have worked for only a few weeks and leave because of the lack of pay, Lazarus is committed to helping the women of the workshop.
Mabanda is a tailor who specializes in men's clothing. He learned his trade from his father, who was also a tailor. He is 45 years old, married and a father to eight children.
Claude works as a guard for the workshop, sleeping in the building at night to ensure no one steals the school's pedal-operated sewing machines and fabric. He is 24 years old and was orphaned by the fighting in eastern Congo in 1998. After the death of his parents Claude could no longer afford to continue with his education. Now he hopes to rebuild his life and with support, possibly return to school. Until then he is committed to helping support and protect the futures of other survivors of war.
Part time Guard
Murhula is 25 years old. He was born and raised in Mumosho. During the 1997 war, two of his elder brothers were shot in front of him and everything in their home was looted. Because his parents could no longer pay school fees for him he had to stop going to school. He decided to go to Bukavu to look for work. Since he has very little education, the only work he can get is as a servant or guard. He works part-time as a guard at night in the Sewing Workshop.
Catherine Haight
Catherine, a co-founder of Action Kivu, is a film editor who has worked on multiple television series and feature films for studios such as HBO, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros & MGM. Projects she has been involved with include Afternoon Delight, Girls, New Girl, and The Cabin in the Woods. Raised in New Hampshire with dual French and American citizenship, she now makes her home in Los Angeles.
Kevin Sites
Kevin is an award-winning journalist and author who has spent the past decade covering global war and disaster for ABC, NBC, CNN and Yahoo! News. Dubbed by the trade press as the "granddaddy" of backpack journalists, Sites helped blaze the trail for intrepid reporters who work alone, carrying only a backpack of portable digital technology to shoot, write, edit and transmit multimedia reports from the world's most dangerous places. His first book, In the Hot Zone: One Man, One Year, Twenty Wars shares his effort to put a human face on global conflict by reporting from every major war zone in one year. Sites was selected as a 2010 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. Originally from Ohio, he now lives and teaches in Hong Kong.
Rebecca Snavely
Rebecca, a co-founder of Action Kivu, began her career in the film industry as an assistant to producers and directors on feature films including What Women Want and Legally Blonde 2. She currently freelances as a writer and casting director, and worked for two years as a Web producer and staff writer for Los Angeles Times entertainment. Rebecca has traveled with documentary teams to Ethiopia, Kosovo, and Serbia.
JD Stier
Born in Georgia, USA to a civil rights attorney father and a mother deeply connected to her church, JD was raised with a respect for social justice and fighting inequality.  JD has fought for social justice, environmental protection, and youth affected by gangs and drugs throughout his life.
While studying at the University of Wisconsin, he traveled to Africa with his housemate and friend Kou, a former Lost Boy from Sudan, on his homecoming trip in 2002. Through that and numerous trips back to east and central Africa, JD grew to know and increasingly fight for the people he came to call friends and the communities he now considers an extension of his home.
JD has held leadership positions within numerous campaigns, including the 2008 U.S. Presidential Campaign, leading to a Presidential Appointment in the White House in 2009. 
After serving in the White House JD was tapped to lead the Enough Project's Raise Hope for Congo Campaign.  Under his leadership, the campaign increased public pressure on the electronic industry to further address their role in cleaning the conflict minerals supply chain. In 2012, Raise Hope for Congo highlighted Congolese activists, including Amani, in the I Am Congo documentary series. The campaign also initiated a gold campaign calling on the jewelry industry to lead the way to a clean gold sector in eastern Congo. 
He is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, advocating for solutions to the crisis in eastern Congo.  He asked Apple for increased leadership addressing conflict minerals; partnered to raise awareness of the crisis in Congo; and asked President Obama to increase his engagement in eastern Congo.
JD has forged a friendship and partnership with Amani, spending time together throughout eastern Congo as well as in Washington, D.C.  JD holds Action Kivu and Amani in the highest regards and is deeply passionate about supporting Action Kivu's life-saving community-building work.