Africa New Day with Harmony Brown
Harmony Brown, since her time with CDF Capital, has primarily been in the consulting world. She has helped individuals, businesses, and nonprofit organizations get a better handle on their mission and vision, funding, and community impact.
Harmony’s latest journey, however, has the Colorado native ecstatic about the new opportunities that God has provided for her.
“I’ve always had a heart for the nations since I was a little girl,” Harmony said. “I’ve always had the heart to go out, and, specifically, there a real connection to Africa.”
Harmony recently took on the role of executive director at Africa New Day, a nonprofit organization that aims to continually provide education, empowerment, relief, and development in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). With headquarters in the United States and in the DRC, Africa New Day has dramatically transformed the lives of many people affected by the country’s ongoing humanitarian crisis through youth mentorship programs, leadership development, and entrepreneurial training opportunities.
It is the giving spirit behind the organization that drew Harmony to the executive director role and why she felt the connection was the perfect fit for her.
“Though I have the desire to be in the nations and do what I can to help, I have also received so much,” Harmony said. “There’s so much richness in the culture and in the people and in the history, that I feel like there’s much I can learn.”
Part of what Harmony has learned since assuming the executive leadership role is how to develop strategic plans for emergency situations. The eastern part of the country, in the last months of 2022, experienced rebel attacks on local villages near Africa New Day headquarters. Though primarily leading from the United States, Harmony has been able to help direct the team on the ground in highly impactful ways.
“We’ve been in war for the past few months. It’s been pretty intense,” Harmony described. “The latest numbers had over 300,000 people fleeing their villages and are now displaced because of the fighting and threat of violence.”
Photo credit: https://africanewday.org
Africa New Day, translated as Un Jour Nouveau in the French native tongue, also has approximately 180 staff members on the ground in the DRC. In addition to the local villagers, Harmony and her team were able to strategize ways to provide resources for staff members as the fighting continues to escalate.
One particular way many have been able to help since the supply chains have been disrupted was by raising enough funds to cover food for their staff and families for the next month. Harmony described the efforts and the short amount of time in which they were able to mobilize as God’s way of miraculously providing.
"That's top of mind right now," Harmony said.
"We’re in crisis. There’s a war going on. How do we navigate that in a way that we can use everything we have, including time, resources, and our network, to help the people who literally fled from their homes with only what they could carry in fear of losing their lives?"
Though the humanitarian crisis is taking much of Africa New Day’s attention, Harmony also has her sights on long-term solutions and sustainability. One of the organization’s programs is The Hub at Un Jour Nouveau, which is an enterprise development program that offers support to entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurial support includes accommodation for startups, legal advice, entrepreneurship coaching and training, networking opportunities, and financial assistance.
In August 10, 2022, Africa New Day closed their first Edition of the Junior Entrepreneurship Boot Camp by the pitch competition, in front of a ground floor of more than 30 people marveled at the performance of our young "apprentice entrepreneurs". Photo credit: https://africanewday.org/news
“Our micro-finance hub is wonderful. We’re helping—not just being a Band-Aid to a situation but helping people in business to be solutions,” Harmony said with conviction in her voice. “They are the answers to the problems in their country. It’s not like somebody else is coming in and being the answer. They are the answer.”
Harmony knows that transformation for the people of Congo can only come from within. It is why she lays her stake in the ground so deep in what Africa New Day is doing for their people looking to build businesses. She further explained that those looking to start small businesses are the hope for the economy and for lowering the unemployment rate of 60%. By providing entrepreneurs with the necessary tools, they can be powerful forces that can change their situation, their community, and their country.
“In 2023, I’d love to see our Hub, the business arm of our organization, supporting a part of our other programs, so that within five years everything is sustainable. That’s my goal,” Harmony said.
The Hub, according to Harmony, is one of Africa New Day’s newer programs and has only been around for roughly four years. Though in its infancy stage, the Hub has been able to support more than 20 businesses, businesses that have provided jobs for the locals and a sense of hope amid the ongoing issues that Congo is facing. From culinary ventures to mobile car washes and from tech to finance, the Hub has been instrumental in creating pathways toward success.
Whether it is the ongoing humanitarian crisis or supporting the Hub, those interested in contributing to Africa New Day’s work in the Democratic Republic of Congo can visit its website for more details. Harmony said those wanting to partner with the organization can also become prayer partners, as well as volunteer their time both locally and on the ground in the DRC.
“At the end of the day, the more we can help each of our organization’s programs become more sustainable, the more we can see these things taking care of themselves,” Harmony said. “Then we can see the work multiply, which will bring more transformation.”