Jean-Thomas was born in 1963 in Basankusu. He is married and has six children. After completing his secondary school studies in 1981, he moved to Bas-Congo province. In 1988, he tried to travel to Europe but was stopped off the coast of Portugal and sent back to DRC. On his return, he was employed as an iron worker at the SOZAGEC/ABAY company, which is owned by a Belgian couple who also hired him as a cook. When the couple left DRC, he moved back to his home village to live with his wife and earned a living hunting in the forests of Bookoo/Iselese. A few years later, he moved to Basankusu and joined the Awely team, working firstly as a volunteer on rabbit-breeding initiatives and then, from January to March 2013, as a veterinary assistant supporting a range of animal-breeding programmes run by farmers’ organisations in partnership with Awely. In March 2013, he joined the the GACEBB team as head of logistics, manager of their support and advisory service for farmers’ collectives, and office caretaker.