With recent news that US troops are being deployed to four Central African Countries, it’s hard not to be reminded of the conflicts that continue to ravage and divide many African nations. Uganda, the Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic are among many countries facing turmoil and uncertainty. In the midst of all that coverage, people tend to forget that the most defining characteristic of any form of struggle is survival.
The folks at Foundation Rwanda are celebrating the strength and resilience of the Rwandan people. Approximately, 800,000 people died over the course of 100 days in the infamous genocide of 1994. Between 250,000 and 500,000 women were raped and an estimated 20,000 children were born to female victims. Foundation Rwanda worked with members of the creative agency LBi Syrup to create Color Rwanda, a stunning coloring book created from words and images from these young survivors.
The coloring book is a part of a larger effort to provide medical and psychological support to the women who were raped during the genocide and to provide education to their children. Many of these victims lack the adequate support from family and community. Color Rwanda hopes to bring awareness, not only about the consequences of genocide, but also about the stigmas surrounding rape and sexual violence.
We may be oceans apart but these issues continue to face our communites across the AfricanDiaspora. Go beyond sympathy and, instead, embrace a sense of action. Consider supporting Color Rwanda and other efforts to move our people forward in the face of unimaginable despair.