VWV was founded in New Hampshire in 2003 by a visionary leader who immigrated to the U.S. from war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo. President & Founder Mary N. Georges understands firsthand the experience of starting a new life in NH, and she began VWV as a faith-based organization to support the African community. By 2010, VWV had expanded and secured its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status to more formally bridge social and cultural gaps arising from differences between American and immigrant or refugee cultures. Over the past decade, VWV has assisted more than 75 families and has contributed to the success of over 100 young women who are now adults living, working, and thriving in and beyond the Granite State. While VWV has worked diligently with immigrant and refugee families in the greater Manchester area for years, these efforts have been largely voluntary, relying upon the founder’s vision and dedicated leadership. VWV’s President & Founder and members of the VWV Advisory Board recognized the need to develop a more solid organizational structure and programming to ensure VWV’s sustainability. In 2016, VWV was awarded an Opportunity Grant from the Endowment for Health to develop a strategic plan. VWV contracted with the T. L. Hill Group to facilitate a strategic planning process with VWV’s founder and board from October 27, 2016 through September 30, 2017.
To encourage, empower, and nurture immigrant and refugee families to thrive by embracing their cultural heritage as they build their new lives.
Immigrant and refugee families are engaged, self-empowered, and strengthened to advocate for themselves and their communities as they achieve their aspirations for success.
President & Founder Mary was born and raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she earned her first degree in nursing and worked as a nurse. After coming to America, she studied at Springfield College earning a Bachelors in Human Services Sciences, then a Masters in Organizational Management and Leadership. She established a non-profit organization and is known for her work in developing a community of practice, statewide system change, and strategies for community interventions. She is known for being a strong ethnic community leader in New Hampshire and the United States of America, and she is the founder of the Congolese Community. She is also a mother of four, an ordained minister, and a member of the Manchester School Board Committee.
President & Founder Mary N. Georges
Margaret spent many years in Africa and Europe and works as a leadership and management consultant for a variety of UN agencies, including the UNHCR. She recently finished an MA in psychology and trauma studies.
Betsy has been collecting yarn and needles from New Hampshire crafters who are excited to make donations to the Knitting Sisters. When she is not working with these ladies she practices at Concord Family Medicine in Concord, New Hampshire.
Shirley is currently the Teen/Tween Program Director at The Boys & Girls Club of Manchester. She works daily to help bring forth great opportunities for youth. She has been an advocate for the community from a very young age, participating in leadership programs across the state.
Counselor and board member
Office manager and volunteer