Job done? No, just begun.

Following arbitration, Heveline received a favorable ruling, with no one filing an appeal in the 30-day post-judgment window. Now, after seven-year-delay, Heveline will assume her rightful role as chief, an event supported by CARE DRC.

Heveline already knows the challenges she will seek to address: “Our roads are quite poor and dilapidated,” she said. “The other issue is education. Children are not able to pursue their studies due to constant conflict. Insecurity is a major issue that is plague the residents of my village and it will need to be addressed urgently. People can’t visit their farms and as a result, they do not get access to food. When I see that I feel a lot of pain.”

Not content to remain a rare woman chief, Heveline also called on women and girls to pursue education, and join hands in community development. “To those who feel like they have been denied their rights, I call on you not to be afraid but to be valiant to fight for your rights.”