Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Rwanda.


Mapendo

Posted in Rwanda on June 21, 2010

We've reached day 27. The regular bouts of sickness have come and gone for most of the group. The project is moving along smoothly and the team has gelled nicely. Jenn and I have had some pretty interesting days recently as well. On Friday, we spent a few hours in the bank withdrawing some money. Initially it was an annoyingly slow process, especially for us Canadians who are used to jetting in and out of the bank on a lunch break. But with unreliable networks, we ended up waiting for quite some time.

Although we were stuck, it turned out to be a bit of a blessing in disguise. As Jenn stood for a while working out the transaction, I sat with our stuff. I was sitting next to a lady who, as it turns out, is one of the most interesting people I think I've ever met. Her name is Rose Mapendo. She is the co-founder of Mapendo, an organization that helps women and children refugees from the Congo, from Sudan, and from Somalia. She is a 1998 genocide survivor from the DR Congo who is now a spokesperson for several organizations, including the UN. She was also the 2009 United Nations Humanitarian of the Year. After an hour conversation, we parted ways with hopes of meeting her organizations headquarters in Nairobi in August. Being Muzungus here certainly draws a huge amount of attention, but every once in a while it sure is a great conversation starter.


Dan
DWC Student Team Leader
June 2010

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