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One man’s journey staring down prejudice, hunger, and life as a child soldier

By Allison Kooser

As a child, Mondiant Dogon fled the Democratic Republic of the Congo with his family and spent decades in UN tent cities, encountering danger and prejudice. He faced severe hunger, unimaginable violence, constant disruption, and even life as a child soldier.

But his story didn’t end there.

This month, we cannot wait to dive into Dogon’s incredible memoir as he recounts his experience as a refugee and advocates for displaced people around the globe. Join the Opportunity Book Club this June as we read Those We Throw Away Are Diamonds by Mondiant Dogon.

Set in two of the countries in which Opportunity International works—the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda—this book reminds us just how essential our services are in these areas.

  • Opportunity chose the Democratic Republic of the Congo as one of the first places to establish an Opportunity Zonea concentrated region where we focus on key interventions like creating viable economic opportunities in agriculture (especially for women) and providing funding and training for small business owners.
  • In Rwanda, our programs and partnerships are designed to support the large rural population that relies upon agriculture as their primary source of income and ensure that children can attendand stay inschool.
  • Our refugee services work to strengthen refugees' financial and digital literacy by equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to break the cycle of poverty and create stability for their families.

Jarring and eloquent, see why Those We Throw Away Are Diamonds was The New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice and was named a Best Nonfiction Book of 2021 by Kirkus.

We hope you’ll join us this month as we read this powerful book and learn about experiences that parallel those of so many Opportunity International clients.

Have a friend who would enjoy reading with us, too? Help us grow by inviting your friends and fellow readers—just send them here: opportunity.org/bookclub

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