This Mother’s Day, we’re celebrating one of the best moms we know. Meet Melanie Zawadi, Invisible Children’s Head of Office in DR Congo.

Melanie and Shammah

Back in 2010, when Invisible Children first started working with communities in DR Congo (DRC) targeted by LRA violence, Melanie was one of the first community leaders we met. We were introduced to her by our friend and hero, the late Abbe Benoit Kinalegu, when we were searching for a reliable, dedicated person to transcribe reports of LRA attacks that were coming through our new Early Warning Radio Network. From the start, Melanie impressed us with her strength, brilliance and commitment to LRA-affected communities. In early 2011, she became our very first Congolese staff member and she helped build Invisible Children’s office and programs in DRC from the ground up.


Today, Melanie leads the Invisible Children DRC office, ensuring that our programs, staff, and community partners have the support and guidance they need to succeed. From finances and human resources, to the expansion of our programs like the Early Warning Network and Community Defection Committees, Melanie is on the front lines making sure every dollar you give to Invisible Children is used thoughtfully and effectively.

And like every good mom, nothing gets past her. Seriously. Don’t even try.

In addition to being the adopted “mom” to all of us at Invisible Children, Melanie has two beautiful boys of her own — one of whom she just welcomed into the world a few weeks ago! Quite appropriately, she named him Hero. With a mom like Melanie, we have no doubt he’ll live up to his name.


We’re honored to have Melanie as a friend, role model, and pillar in the Invisible Children family. Every day, she works tirelessly to ensure communities in DRC can one day live free of LRA violence and have the safety they deserve.

While she’s currently on maternity leave, Melanie told us she’s excited to rejoin the Invisible Children DRC team soon. As our good friend Beyonce says, she’s “strong enough to bear the children, then get back to business.” Amen to that.

Who runs the world? Melanie does; and all the courageous moms across the globe just like her. From all of us at Invisible Children to all you moms: Happy Mother’s Day, and thank you.