Sunday, October 3, 2010

Skyping Rwanda

As I had mentioned a post or two ago I have been thinking about Rwanda. One of my past AmeriCorps members was just there as a Peace Corps volunteer and she said it was amazing. In my on-going interest in Africa, I have tried to take in information through books, movies, news, etc. in hopes of understanding this amazing continent. One of the most notable for me was the 2004 film, Hotel Rwanda; not only for the heart-breaking true story and the braveness of a man harboring over 1,000 refugees in his hotel but for the line spoken by one of the film-makers covering the Rwandan Genocide who noted at dinner "that people would watch the footage of the massacres, think it was horrible, and then go on eating their dinners." Those words have stuck with me ever since.


With these things in mind, I set out to find a way to get there and do something to help. Through the WorkAway website I found a posting for an organization called Tubahumurize which is located in the capitol city of Kigali. Their mission is to support and empower Rwandan women victims of violence in this country through regular trauma counseling, micro-financing, skills training and other educational programming. I sent them a message of interest and they contacted me about my resume and we set up an interview for this evening.

I spoke with Simone, one of their volunteers, about their current needs, things going on, what to expect, etc. They are doing some amazing things but are in great need of funding help (grant writing), among other things. She gave me a lot to think about. So now I am thinking and I will be giving her my thoughts sometime this week about my plan to move forward or not.

In the meantime, if you've ever felt guilty about all the privileges you've been given, you can always do something to give back. What's your favorite way to give back?

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