Today is graduation day, a day of fanfare, unfettered dreams and promise. But this is no ordinary graduation. It is The Akilah Institute for Women in Kigali, Rwanda, the only college for women in East Africa.
One warm, overcast afternoon, Chantal Nimugire took me to the place where she almost died. The clearing, roughly the size of a football field, was nestled amid hillsides in Kicukiro, a suburb of Kigali, the Rwandan capital.
Sometimes as humans, we are so quick to give up. How many times have we been turned down and decided to stop? How often do we take rejection as a sign...
The ethos of No. 41 is simple: empowering one person can make an incredible impact. Since 2012, No. 41 has been inspiring and enabling women in ...
What kind of United Nations would we invent if we were designing it from scratch today?
In Africa children greet you with a hug and when they sit next to you, they throw an arm over across your shoulders or over your leg. It is not uncommon for men to walk around holding hands as a show of friendship. Affection is not for special occasions; it is for daily life.
The author Kahlil Gibran once wrote, "Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife."
Mariemae Stationary and Mariemae Business School founder Jillian Ryan partnered with No. 41, a Rwanda-based social enterprise, to offer business training to the organization. No. 41 employs 21 women from the Noel Orphanage and the surrounding area in the small village of Gisenyi.
Whether there was acquiescence or complicity before or after the fact of the fall of Srebrenica, Washington pivoted its policy toward satisfying Milosevic's territorial demands. The mythology of peace in BiH continues to be dominated by tales of age-old hatreds as well as ethnic chauvinist politics.
Americans are fiercely proud of this heritage, and so is Rwanda. Americans are fiercely proud of this heritage, and so is Rwanda. The difference in Africa is that "independence" is an ongoing struggle against a backdrop of powerful foreign interests.
While often more prevalent in conflict, violence against women is in fact a global phenomenon rooted in social norms and attitudes. More than one in three women around the world have experienced an attack, the vast majority committed by their husbands or boyfriends.
Should we pronounce the UN a failure, or perhaps give it a ceremonial gold watch and retire it? The UN and its adjunct organs and agencies have made much progress, before the 50th Anniversary, but also since.
Without absolving or equivocating on America's hypocrisy on matters of race, racism and abuse of civil rights, it is ironic and equally hypocritical that Africans, who have little compunction about hacking one another to death because of differences, physical or perceived, are some of the loudest decriers of racism and bigotry in America.
Inside we all know there is something we can do for the greater good. We need to listen to the voice reminding us that we are fortunate and often take basic essentials for granted -- yet others are not as lucky.
My feeling is that Obama's State Department is persecuting the only stable government in Central Africa and coddling a brutal dictator in Congo by sending the equivalent of schoolchildren to do the work of policy experts. Ask yourself how DRL's Steven Feldstein can be an "expert" on both Sudan and Rwanda and responsible for international religious freedom on top of it all.
This summer marks the two year anniversary of my work in Rwanda. I have met many incredible people during this journey, and know I will meet many more.