Charlotte Mararv

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Born on the Central African border with Cameroun, in the small village of Gamboula, Charlotte Mararv spent her childhood in the town of Berberati. Speaking Sango, Swedish, French and English since a very young age, Charlotte grew up seamlessly navigating Central African life in the bush and in the city.  Her happiest memories include camping in the bush, tracking animals, prospecting new bush camps and driving on dirt roads all across the country, and countless afternoons spent with her friends under the mango trees, or singing in the choir, in Berberati. Her love of Central African nature and wildlife grew out of these experiences.  Experiences which also taught her how to work successfully in the Central African Republic.

After a short period in Europe where Charlotte studied art and journalism she moved back to CAR. Permanently living in Bangui, the capital of CAR, since 2006 she has started three businesses and founded one conservation organization in the country. Charlotte stayed in Bangui throughout the war that broke out in 2013, and kept her businesses working through the turmoil together with her committed staff.

Heartbroken by the bad reputation and horror stories being published of CAR in media and official reports, Charlotte felt that the picture painted of CAR was not the whole picture. While the violence described was true, the Central African Republic that Charlotte knew by heart also still existed - a beautiful and bountiful country with a population committed to not only surviving; but also smiling.

Firmly believing that independence and self-reliance is the key to change and using her education, experience and resources, she is committed to establishing incubator businesses that will sustainably push the Central African economy forward before, during and after crisis.

HOW WE MET

Charlotte and Racey met in Bangui in 2009. The love for running and honest talk brought them together and they quickly became good friends, sharing a passion for business as a factor for societal change.

The devastation of this most recent crisis in CAR troubles them both deeply, yet in the midst of the horror and destruction they see and want to share a different story of CAR.  A story about the many Central Africans that they know who find joy, community, laughter and hope in the middle of a crisis.  Extremely resilient Central Africans who go to great lengths to live an every day life, in the middle of a war.  Ndara was born out of this desire: to tell a story of hope, skill and resiliency from the Central African Republic. 

 

Racey Henderson