“My Humanity is Bound Up in Yours for We can Only be Human Together” – Desmond Tutu
When I think about the horrific acts that have occurred over the past year and in the last three weeks alone, I find myself questioning the very purpose of our existence as beings on this Earth. For why if we exude hatred and act violently towards each other are we even here? To suffer? To hurt? To experience loss?
But then I think about the amazing acts of love that organically happen in times of great strife and I am certain that this love far surpasses any acts of evil. I know and I believe that at our very core humans only want to feel love – it is our experiences that sometime taint and diminish our inherent instinct to be kind and peaceful.
Last year, Anthony and I decided to dedicate our lives to serving others after a life-changing trip to Rwanda. There we found a society rebuilding itself on the principles of community and at the very core on love. 21 years ago, the entire nation faced the most horrific experience imaginable: genocide. In the days, months and weeks after people bonded together, taking in the sick, the weak, the orphaned and the traumatized and began to rebuild their lives. Peace Ruzage was one of many who opened her home to give women in her community a place to gather together in a safe, welcoming space. While she went to work, her mother taught the women to read and make crafts as a way of finding healing in normal day-to-day tasks. Before long, more than 300 women were gathering in Peace’s home and veranda. The women felt loved and cared for and their hearts did in fact begin to heal and in turn a nation began to heal.
Today Peace continues her work as the founder and CEO of an organization called Aspire Rwanda. Her organization still helps women learn to read and to make crafts and even how to farm, but it also empowers them through self-sustaining economic opportunities. They are also provided with health, women’s rights and business training so when they leave Aspire they have the tools and support necessary to rise above poverty.
We met Peace after learning about her organization through a stranger we crossed paths with in Rwanda and felt drawn to help expand her mission to empower more women. Together we committed to supporting a project that will empower 100 women smallholder farmers and their families. This project will not only provide a livable income for the women, but it will also provide education and food security – two vital components of poverty alleviation.
Rwanda is healing and so are many regions of the world. l know the violence will not stop in my lifetime, but I do know that if most of humanity is dedicated to creating a kind, peaceful, free society, then love WILL prevail.
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