Dia Diafwila

Dia has been teaching for over 40 years! He has served with Global Scholars Canada in Cameroon and The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since 2016. Most of Dia’s current classes are taught online from Canada, but occasionally he visits DRC to teach in person and assist in administrating academic programs. Dia develops curriculum for use by hundreds of students each year. He teaches online with the Institut Universitaire de Développement International (IUDI) and the Université Pédagogique National (UPN). His courses include Social Work, Victimology, Pastoral Clinic, and Counseling Psychotherapy. He is also the Vice-President of International Relationships and Academic Cooperation for IUDI, helps graduate students with their theses, and has published 3 books.

Dia is an extensive world traveller and has attended academic and missiological conferences in countries such as Germany, France, Asia, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Congo, Rwanda, and many other African countries.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa, second largest in all of Africa, and the most populous Francophone country in the world. DRC has suffered enormously from decades of civil war. The religions of Islam and magic/witchcraft are widespread in DRC. Life expectancy is far below the global average, about 3/4 of the population is under 30, and poverty and disease are rampant.

Dia was a professor, campus chaplain, and pastor during his decades in Congo. He also had a special ministry to the rural people living in the forests and villages. Watch the following documentary from Front Line in Holland which features Dia visiting the “People of the Forest”.

On January 3, 1999 Dia had to flee his home country for safety reasons, but in early 2020 he made the trip back to Congo and was welcomed with open arms.

Dia Says: When we came to Canada we started an new life and the Lord blessed us. Everything was going well until a few years ago when I received a message from a former student in Kinshasa. He was now a professor, and he was asking me to help the university at the Master and the Doctoral levels. My wife and I prayed, and decided to help from a distance through online classes. Then came the time to celebrate the first graduation of our students who completed their the Master’s degrees in Pastoral Clinic and Chaplaincy. It was the first promotion in this new discipline in the country. So I was asked to go to Kinshasa and participate in the graduation ceremony. This was our first visit back after 20 years.

When I arrived there, I was invited to be the first speaker at the 50th anniversary of the unity of the protestant churches. Soon after I was invited to preach in the church where I used to be pastor!

John 17:19-21 says, “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”

Jesus’ prayer for all believers is a reality. We had a great time in the Church and spent a meaningful time together. Today, the church is asking me to teach almost every week on the national radio. We are in communion in Christ.  Let us follow our High Priest and work together with Him for our Heavenly Father’s Kingdom.

Dia leading a training seminar in February 2020 in Kinsasha

Click here to read more about Dia’s work in DRC and the convocation of 1st graduates in February 2020!

Graduate students and academic leadership at the February 2020 convocation in Kinshasa, DRC.

Dia is a visionary and a true advocate of creating pathways for higher education in his home country of DRC. Recently Dia launched into partnerships with local academic leaders and government officials to gain approval for a new e-learning centre in Kinshasa, the capital of DRC.

One of the spaces for e-learning currently set up in DRC.

Dia says: We have worked very hard for this new outcome. The Government of DRC, the [academic leadership] and the members of the Board of UPN believe in us and are ready to work with us. There is a need for professors, good professors, for UPN which has more than 16,000 students, and more than 700 professors and associate professors.

May the Lord help us to give our best for the education of a new generation of professors (since 1961, UPN has specialized in training professors of secondary schools and Institut Supérieur Pédagogique in the whole of Congo).

Our challenge is now to find resources for the establishment of the e-learning center in order to help our professors have access to e-books of different university librairies of Europa, North and South America, and South, West and East Africa.

Dia lives near Ottawa with his wife. He also has grown children.

He earned an MA in Educational Counseling from University of Ottawa (2006), an MA in Theology from McGill University (1989), a PhD in Philosophy from University of Ottawa (1987), an MA in Missiology from Saint Paul University (1984), and degrees in Philosophy (1977) and Associate of Higher Education (1979) from the National University of Zaire (now DRC).