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In Memoriam -
In remembrance of those members of the UN Family who lost their lives
in the earthquake in Haiti, 12 January 2010

Ms. Nicole Lola Bahaya, 1979 - 2010

(Administrative Assistant, Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Nicole Lola Bahaya

Nicole Lola Bahaya, a national of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was working as an Administrative Assistant through the UN Volunteers (UNV) programme for the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) since 2007.

Born in Bukavu, Nicole grew up in a family of six children, where her deep commitment for volunteer work and humanitarian issues was rooted in her first-hand knowledge of the effects of civil war.

In 2002, she graduated from the Institut supérieur pédagogique de Bukavu where she studied administrative and commercial sciences. She already spoke Mashi, Swahili, Lingala, and French, but to equip her with the English skills she desired in order to pursue an international humanitarian career, in 2003 she moved to Kampala, Uganda, where she took intensive English courses at Makerere University. She then moved to Bujumbura, Burundi, in 2004, where she studied business administration at Martin Luther King University.

Before joining the UN, Nicole served as an administrative officer for a national human rights non-governmental organization in Bujumbura, and then, returning to her hometown, she worked as a volunteer marketing officer for two years.

Nicole always had a strong interest in Haiti, which included a love both of the country’s culture and its music. However, before leaving for Haiti, Nicole hesitated about leaving her then one-year-old son in the DRC, but her long-term partner, Rosevel, said that what had convinced her was that she strongly believed she could make a modest contribution to peace and stability in Haiti.

As a valued member of UNV, a colleague said, “Nicole Bahaya came from a country that has itself experienced conflict, and it is a tribute to her selflessness and courage that she volunteered to help others recovering from conflict in Haiti.”

She began at MINUSTAH in the Office of the Principal Deputy Representative of the Secretary-General as an Administrative Assistant. She later moved to the Rule of Law Division where she was responsible for archiving and retrieving all official documents. Colleagues say she spoke openly about her joy for her work.

“She was convinced that she had been useful at her level of responsibility for the mission and for the Haitian people,” said Rosevel, who is a UN peacekeeper in Sudan.

In order to provide even better support to Haitians, Nicole was actively learning the Creole language and colleagues described her as “passionate to learn.”

“We are all devastated by Nicole’s passing. She touched the lives of everyone she came in contact with, and was well-regarded for her professionalism and sincere sense of duty,” said another colleague.

“My son and I will remember her for our lifetime,” said Rosevel. “She and I had a long and happy life together.”

She is survived by her son, Rayan Rosevel, 4, her longtime partner Rosevel Pierre Louis, her parents Benitho and Mela, and her five siblings.