A Refugee Can Be a force for good, empowered, educated, hopeful, financially independent, a leader, protected, strong, a voice, courageous, resilient.


Refugee Can Be (RCB) believes every refugee girl is a leader in her own right, with her own trail to blaze. Our mission is to educate and empower refugee girls from Rwamwanja Settlement, Uganda, by providing secondary education, livelihood skills, and leadership development, to realize their highest potential in service of others.


Refugee Can Be is both a declaration and an aspiration.

The heart of our work is to empower refugee girls to know, celebrate, and express their inherent promise.

Chantale Zuzi color headshot
Chantale Zuzi and child at school desk


Uwezo (Swahili) :
potential; endowed with energy; influential.

Refugee Can Be believes in the uwezo of every refugee girl.


Black and white shot of Chantale Zuzi outdoors
Chantale Zuzi and refugee children in school room


Chantale Zuzi’s life began in the Democratic Republic of the Congo just 21 years ago. Despite facing devastating losses amid the cruelties of war and displacement, Chantale has grown into a positive, accomplished, and enthusiastic young woman determined to forge a future in service to others.

At 13, she lost both her parents in a massacre in her village and was forced to flee with her nine siblings to Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement in Uganda. As the oldest girl in her family, Chantale became the primary caregiver of her nine siblings. She also began to advocate for the rights of girls and young women of Rwamwanja and for those whose lives were touched by the challenges of albinism, including severely limited vision and security concerns. Chantale became a liaison to the camp’s United Nations staff, as a formal representative for particular needs of these vulnerable groups.

In September of 2018, when she was 17 years old, Chantale began a new phase of her life when she resettled in the United States. Chantale completed high school in just three years, graduating with highest honors and distinctions in Perseverance and English Literature. Today, Chantale is a student at Wellesley College.

Chantale is a powerful speaker whose work has been featured amongst organizations and media including The Memorial Foundation for the Blind, Amnesty International, the United Nations, Harper’s Bazaar, and was photographed by Platon for the Cultural Leaders as a Catalyst of Change campaign, which debuted at the World Economic Forum in January 2023.


Chantale Zuzi, Founder
Alisa Roadcup, Co-Founder and President
Ann Dalton, Treasurer
Kim Miner, Secretary


Carla Goldstein
Katy Grant
Tiff Gravel
Lauren Leader
Ashish Shah
Jamia Wilson
Chantale Zuzi and Alisa Roadcup in front of UNHCR building

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Refugee Can Be does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, and ethnic origin and is committed to providing programs and a workplace free from racial discrimination.
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