Nobel Prize Winner speaks at ICS

Nobel Prize Winner speaks at ICS
Posted on 06/14/2019

Photo of Dr. Denis Mukwege with students

Formosa - Nobel Prize Winner speaks to students

 Dr. Denis Mukwege, a gynecologist treating victims of sexual violence in Congo, who won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, visited
École Immaculée-Conception School (ICS) on the afternoon of June 14, 2019. 

Students in grades 3-8 watched a news clip about Mukwege’s work and then had the opportunity to ask him questions.  Mukwege, answering in French (which was translated to English by ICS Principal and Mukwege’s son-in-law Papy Mukenge), explained different aspects of his life and work, ranging from the violence he experiences in his home country, to what got him interested in medicine. 

Mukwege said he became interested in medicine as a child when he witnessed his father (a pastor) praying for a sick child and asked him why he wasn’t giving him medicine, to which his father told him that he wasn’t a doctor and someone else would have to issue medication.  This stuck with Mukwege, who became a pediatrician prior to expanding to his current field of gynecology.  Mukwege explained that he became involved in gynecology after he witnessed women suffering to give birth.  Later in his career, he soon became involved with helping women who have been the victims of sexual violence.  Mukwege estimates the number of women he has helped to be around 55 thousand. 

When asked about what it was like when he won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, Mukwege chuckled and said it was an ordinary day, and he was working in surgery when he heard a commotion outside.  He became concerned about what was going on, however, someone soon came in and informed him that he had won the award.  He added that he still needed to finish the surgery he was in the middle of when he was informed. 

Mukwege stated that he felt joy and that “the world was listening” when he won the award. 

Mukwege expressed that he was “emotionally touched” by the questions the students asked him and because he learned they “have an interest in peace”. 

Mukenge had this to say about Mukwege’s visit: “It is an honour for ICS-Formosa to receive Dr. Denis Mukwege in our school building. As a school, we focus on our Catholic culture of Deep Caring, by celebrating and demonstrating Virtues, including the virtue of Compassion and Empathy. 

Dr. Mukwege's efforts in social justice demonstrate his deep sense of compassion to the suffering. He is an inspiration to all of us in how we can demonstrate the Love of Jesus in defending human rights. This is something that is dear to our school community, as demonstrated by our regular support to various charities.”