Today (6/1/05), I finally had the chance to "search" more on this nation. I did this after my interest grew when a movie about this nation came out called "Hotel Rwanda".
Hotel Rwanda Trailer
"Hotel Rwanda" Portrays Hero Who Fought Genocide
Stefan Lovgren in Los Angeles
for National Geographic News
December 9, 2004 news.nationalgeographic.com "Paul Rusesabagina was never the most idealistic man. As manager of the Belgian-owned Mille Collines, a luxury hotel in Kigali, the Rwandan capital, he knew when to slip a bottle of Scotch to corrupt colonels to keep them in his pocket.
Those street smarts became his salvation when Rwanda plummeted into genocide ten years ago in an event that transformed the genial businessman into an unlikely hero.
As ethnic Hutus began killing their Tutsi neighbors, Rusesabagina—a Hutu married to a Tutsi woman—turned his hotel into an impromptu refugee camp for more than a thousand terrified Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
Deserted by international peacekeepers, Rusesabagina began cashing in every favor he had ever earned, bribing the Rwandan Hutu soldiers and keeping the bloodthirsty militia (mostly) outside the gates during the hundred days of slaughter.
In the end, he survived along with his wife and three children, as did most of the refugees he sheltered.
Now his heroic story is recounted in Hotel Rwanda, a gripping account of a genocide that claimed an estimated 800,000 lives, mainly Tutsis but also many moderate Hutus.
The movie, which opens in limited release in the United States on December 22, has received some Oscar buzz, especially for Don Cheadle's performance as Rusesabagina.
Amnesty International has hosted several screenings for Hotel Rwanda to raise awareness for another genocide, one that is still unfolding: the conflict in Darfur, Sudan.
Last week, at the premiere in Beverly Hills, Rusesabagina received Amnesty's "Enduring Spirit" award. After the screening, the rotund former hotel manager, who now runs a trucking business in Belgium, appeared decidedly modest about the film's potential to stir the public's consciousness.
"All we want to do is to show what happened," he said, "so that ten years later, people can at least know what it was and how it was." .....
Paul Rusesabagina: The Man Behind Don Cheadle's Character in Hotel Rwanda
Hotel Rwanda - Million Voices
'This film is based on true events that took place during the genocidal violence that erupted in Rwanda between the Hutu and Tutsi groups in 1994, when the Hutu military and Interahamwe militias killed roughly 800,000 Tutsis over approximately 100 days. In the face of these unspeakable actions, inspired by his love for his family, an ordinary man summons extraordinary courage to save the lives of over a thousand helpless refugees, by granting them shelter in the hotel he manages.
Music: Wyclef Jean - Million Voices"
Journey to Jamaa with Steve Fredlund
When Wednesday, November 30th 2011
Time 7:00pm until 9:00pm
Where: Science 2950 (the Auditorium), U of M Morris, 600 East 4th St., Morris, MN
Kivuruga, Rwanda 2009 - Beauty & Faces
"In November 2009, four residents of East Central MN travelled to Kivuruga as part of Our Response. This video shows some of the highlights of the people & places along the way. "
Come join us in welcoming guest speaker Steve Fredlund from Our Response (a non-profit human rights organization), who will be presenting on improving the standard of living in Kivuruga, Rwanda. He will be premiering pictures and stories from his latest trip to Kivuruga in October. There will be a short video and some snacks to accompany the presentation. We would love to see you there!
"For years we have been hearing about global suffering, disease, and poverty. Some of us choose not to believe the reality; some of us choose to consider the suffering “their own fault”; some of us may even believe that the value of the lives of those suffernig is somehow less valuable than our own. But many of us care and are filled with compassion for those with a brutal standard of living and a life expectancy half of ours…. but the issue is that we haven’t known what to do about it. How do we get involved in something so huge? How do we make a difference?
It is out of these questions that Our Response was launched. As we look at so much of the world living in a constant state of emergency and our capacity to help, we have this question… what is Our Response. East Central Minnesota has partnered with World Vision to come together as a community and make a significant impact in the lives of the residents of Kivuruga, Rwanda in eastern Africa. We invite you to look through this website; learn about the issues, Rwanda, and Our Response. To contact us with questions or concerns. And to consider getting involved through sponsorship, other financial support, or volunteering. At minimmum, we hope that you become more informed and more spurred on toward compassion for a world that desperately needs it. Thanks for taking the time to check this out.
"KIGALI, RWANDA (ANS) -- Thirteen years after the 1994 Rwandan genocide between Hutus and Tutsis, 40 families from both tribes are living as neighbors in Imidugudo, which translates as "reconciliation village."
The village, in Nyamata, 30km south of the Rwandan capital, Kigali, is part of an experiment whereby genocide survivors and confessed perpetrators live in the same community, in small tin-roofed houses they built themselves.
According to IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks) at www.IRINnews.org, as reported by Reuters news agency, the village is the brainchild of Pastor Steven Gahigi, an Anglican clergyman who survived the genocide by fleeing to Burundi with his wife and two children. His mother, father and siblings all died and Gahigi thought he had lost his ability to forgive.
"I prayed until one night I saw an image of Jesus Christ on the cross," Gahigi says. "I thought of how he forgave and I knew that I and others could also do it."
Inspired by the vision, Gahigi began preaching forgiveness not only in Nyamata parish, but in the cramped prisons where hundreds of thousands of perpetrators were awaiting trial.
IRIN says that in 2003, faced with crowded prisons and a shortage of qualified judges, the Rwandan government began offering a provisional release to low-level perpetrators, including the sick, elderly and those who were children at the time of the genocide.
People tried by Rwanda's traditional "gacaca" courts, in which members of the community act as judges, had their sentences halved if they confessed their involvement in the genocide.
Today, Gahigi provides spiritual council to both perpetrators and victims, most of whom work as small farmers, just as they did before the genocide.
Residents say the path to forgiveness was not easy, IRIN reports. However, they say their ability to forgive is rooted in Christian beliefs.
"I did not think I could forgive," Mukamana says, "until I heard the pastor's message." Now, she is fond of elderly Aziri, who often stops by her house to chat.
"These people killed my parents," Janet Mukabyagaju told IRIN. "It is not easy for me to forgive them. But God forgave. I must do the same."
With funding from non-profit Christian organization Prison Fellowship International, survivors and perpetrators agreed to live together harmoniously. The founding members of the community voted on who could live at Imidugudo -- a practice that continues today.
Gahigi said they generally choose families who are most vulnerable due to poverty or illness.
IRIN says that while Rwanda's current administration has renounced the use of ethnic terminology and instead promotes reconciliation, many Rwandans say there is still a raging undercurrent of mistrust among those who survived the genocide and those who committed it.
Residents in Imidugudo say although the terms Hutu and Tutsi should no longer be a part of Rwandan society, they do not believe in painting over the past. They speak to their children about their roles in the genocide.
"Genocide has enormous consequences for those who did it and for those who survived," Xavier Namay, an admitted perpetrator, told IRIN. "My children must know what I did so they can rebuild this country positively."
As an example of how the reconciliation village principle works out in practice, IRIN says that before the Rwandan genocide, Mutiribambi Aziri and Jaqueline Mukamana were neighbors in the town of Nyamata, south of the capital Kigali.
When the 100-day slaughter began in April 1994, Mukamana, a teenage Tutsi student, and Aziri, a Hutu farmer, found themselves on opposite sides as 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered by Hutu militias, known as the Interahamwe, and ordinary Rwandans.
Mukamana went to fetch water from the community well and returned to find her entire family hacked to death by neighbors. She hid in the fields and then fled on foot to neighboring Burundi.
Aziri was one of those whipped up into a killing spree by Rwanda's hard-line Hutu administration. He did not murder Mukamana's family but he admits to killing some of her neighbors with a machete.
Thirteen years later IRIN reports, they are neighbors again, chatting on the dusty roads and attending church services together.
"We help each other," Aziri told IRIN. "When a member of one family is sick, we drop by." Most importantly, he says, "our kids are friends."
**IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks) is part of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, but its services are editorially independent. Its reports do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations and its agencies, nor its member states. "
"CARLSBAD, CA (ANS) -- Rick Warren, the best-selling author of The Purpose-Driven Life describes this powerful new book called Led By Faith in this way: �Out of the ruins of the 1994 Rwandan genocide have come the most astounding and moving stories of faith, hope, forgiveness, reconciliation, and miracles that I�ve ever heard. If you�ve had a hard time letting go of a deep hurt, or difficulty in releasing your offender so you can get on with the rest of your life, Immacul�e�s story can lead you to the place of healing, restoration, and peace.�
Cover of Led by Faith
For three months in the spring of 1994, the African nation of Rwanda descended into one of the most vicious and bloody genocides the world has ever seen.
Immacul�e Ilibagiza, a young university student, miraculously survived the savage killing spree that left most of her family, friends, and a million of her fellow citizens dead. Immacul�e�s remarkable story of survival was documented in her first book, Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust.
�In Led By Faith, Immacul�e takes us with her as her remarkable journey continues,� said a news release from Monique Mallory. �Through her simple and eloquent voice, we experience her hardships and heartache as she struggles to survive and to find meaning and purpose in the aftermath of the holocaust. It is the story of a na�ve and vulnerable young woman, orphaned and alone, navigating through a bleak and dangerously hostile world with only an abiding faith in God to guide and protect her.
�Immacul�e fends off sinister new predators, seeks out and comforts scores of children orphaned by the genocide, and searches for love and companionship in a land where hatred still flourishes. Then, fearing again for her safety as Rwanda�s war-crime trials begin, Immacul�e flees to America to begin a new chapter of her life as a refugee and immigrant�a stranger in a strange land.�
The release continues: �With the same courage and faith in God that led her through the darkness of genocide, Immacul�e discovers a new life that was beyond her wildest dreams as a small girl in a tiny village in one of Africa�s poorest countries. It is in the United States, her adopted country, where Immacul�e can finally look back at all that has happened to her and truly understand why God spared her life� so that she would be left to tell her story to the world.�
was born in Rwanda and studied electronic and mechanical engineering at the National University. She lost most of her family during the 1994 genocide. Four years later, she emigrated to the United States and began working at the United Nations in New York City. She is now a full-time public speaker and writer. In 2007 she established the Left to Tell Charitable Fund (http://www.immaculee.com/char_fund.html), which helps support Rwandan orphans.
Immacul�e holds honorary doctoral degrees from The University of Notre Dame and Saint John�s University, and was awarded The Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace 2007. She is the author, with Steve Erwin, of Left To Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust.
Available: September 16, 2008; US $24.95 (US Only); Hardcover: ISBN: 978-1-4019-1887-3 ***Note: A portion of Profits go to �The Left to Tell Charitable Fund�
For more information, contact: Monique Mallory
E-mail: email@example.com "
"RWANDA (ANS) -- Segatashya, a 15-year old shepherd boy, was born into a penniless and illiterate pagan family in the most remote region of Rwanda.
He never attended school, never saw a Bible, and never set foot in a church. Then one summer day in 1982 while the 15-year-old was resting beneath a shade tree, Jesus Christ paid him a visit.
Jesus asked the startled young man if he'd be willing to go on a mission to remind mankind how to live a life that leads to heaven.
Segatashya began to have apparitions of Jesus and accepted his mission to remind mankind how to live a life that leads to heaven if Jesus would answer all of the boy’s questions about faith, religion, the purpose of life, and the nature of heaven and hell.
Segatashya accepted the assignment on one condition: that Jesus answer all his questions -- and all the questions of those he met on his travels -- about faith, religion, the purpose of life, and the nature of heaven and hell. Jesus agreed to the boy's terms, and Segatashya set off on what would become one of the most miraculous journeys in modern history.
Although he was often accused of being a charlatan and beaten as a result, Segatashya's innocent heart and powerful spiritual wisdom quickly won over even the most cynical of critics.
Soon, this teenage boy, who had never learned to read or write, was discussing theology with leading biblical scholars and advising pastors and priests of all denominations. He became so famous in Rwanda that the Catholic Church investigated his story.
The doctors and psychiatrists who examined Segatashya all agreed that they were witnessing a miracle. His words and simple truths converted thousands of hearts and souls wherever he went.
Before his death during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Segatashya continued his travels and conversations with Jesus for eight years, asking Him what we all want to know: Why were we created? Why must we suffer? Why do bad things happen to good people? When will the world end? Is there life after death? How do we get to Heaven?
The answers to these and many other momentous, life-changing questions are revealed in this riveting book, which is the first full account of Segatashya's remarkable life story.
Author Immaculée Ilibagiza, a close friend and follower of Segatashya (who died in the Rwandan Genocide), was visited by the boy in her dreams and urged to spread his message now, to address the world’s desperate need for divine intervention.
"These times in which we live are times of enormous spiritual opportunity for each and every one of us,” urges Immaculée. “Segatashya told me, ‘some things are so important they just can’t wait for approval!’”
A media release says of the book: “Written with grace, passion, and loving humor by Immaculée Ilibagiza, Segatashya's close friend and a survivor of the Rwandan holocaust herself, this truly inspirational work is certain to move you in profound ways.
"No matter what your faith or religious beliefs, Segatashya's words will bring you comfort and joy, and prepare your heart for this life…and for life everlasting.”
It adds: “It's the greatest story never told: that of an innocent and ignorant boy who met Jesus and dared to ask Him all the questions often pondered by even the most devout followers: Why were we created? Why must we suffer? Why do bad things happen to good people? When will the world end? Is there life after death? How do we get to Heaven?”
The news release says that anyone who has questioned their faith, or those who have lost it, will benefit from the clear messages of THE BOY WHO MET JESUS: Segatashya of Kibeho, as told to Immaculée Ilibagiza, renowned author of the New York Times bestselling books, Left to Tell and Our Lady of Kibeho.
The author, Immaculée Ilibagiza, was born in Rwanda and studied electronic and mechanical engineering at the National University and is the author of Left to Tell, Led by Faith, and Our Lady of Kibeho (with Steve Erwin). Immaculée lost most of her family during the 1994 genocide. Four years later, she immigrated to the United States and soon began working at the United Nations in New York City.
She is now a full-time public speaker and writer. In 2007 she established the Left to Tell Charitable Fund, which helps support Rwandan orphans, and was awarded the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace.
Steve Erwin is a New York Times best-selling author and award-winning journalist.
Some of the specific questions answered in The Boy Who Met Jesus are:
• Why is it so important to love God, anyway?
• The Bible says I should love you, Jesus, more than I love my parents or anyone else. How can you be serious about that when I’ve just met you?
• Why should I love my enemies like you tell me to, when God doesn’t love his enemy, Satan?
The Boy Who Met Jesus
Segatashya of Kibeho
Immaculee Ilibagiza, Steve Erwin
Available: November 28, 2011
Price: USA $24.95
Rebecca St. James - Compassion International - Rwanda Africa
"In 1994, the long and painful history of the small African country of Rwanda came to a dreadful climax: the genocide and a death toll of approximately one million, within three months. Pain and suffering have engraved themselves on the souls of the people, but there are also clear signs of hope and restoration. Witnesses of the change speak out; victims and perpetrators likewise refer to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It's almost unbelievable! www.crownvideo.com"
Forgiven: A Murderer's Story - Inspirational Videos
"..The Republic of Rwanda (English pronunciation: /ruːˈændə/ roo-AN-də or /rəˈwɑːndə/ rə-WAHN-də; Kinyarwanda pronunciation [ɾwanda] or IPA: [ɾɡwanda]), known as the Land of a Thousand Hills, is a country located in the Great Lakes region of eastern-central Africa, bordered by Uganda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania.
Although close to the equator the country has a cool temperate climate due to its high elevation. Kigali, the capital, has an average temperature of 19 degrees Celsius. Rwanda is also renowned for its beautiful terrain with mostly grassy uplands and scenic, gently rolling hills. Its abundant wildlife, including the rare mountain gorillas are popular with eco-lovers and tourism has become one of the biggest sectors of the country's economy.
The country has received considerable international attention due to its 1994 genocide, in which an estimated 800,000 people were killed. Since then the country has made a remarkable recovery and is now considered as a model for developing countries. In 2009 A CNN report labeled Rwanda as Africa's biggest success story, having achieved stability, economic growth (average income has tripled in the past ten years) and international integration. The government is widely seen as one of the more efficient and honest ones in Africa. Fortune magazine published an article recently titled "Why CEOs Love Rwanda."  The capital, Kigali, is the first city in Africa to be bestowed with the prestigious Habitat Scroll of Honor Award in the recognition of its cleanliness, security and urban conservation model."  In 2008, Rwanda became the first country in history to elect a national legislature in which a majority of members were women. Rwanda is, as of November 2009, a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, making the country one of only two in the Commonwealth without a British colonial past...
"We arrived at the airport in Kigali, the capital city.
My wife, Denise and I carried the cross in and around Kigali. In the streets we had a good witness of the cross and the message of Jesus and of hope.We had some profound talks with people. Many had questions about the past suffering and killings in the country.
We passed out many Jesus stickers and gospel material to the people.
It was a time of helping people and showing hope and the love of Jesus.
God bless this suffering nation of people.
A pilgrim follower of Jesus,
"Could you forgive a person who murdered your family? This is the question faced by the subjects of As We Forgive, a documentary about Rosaria and Chantal—two Rwandan women coming face-to-face with the men who slaughtered their families during the 1994 genocide. The subjects of As We Forgive speak for a nation still wracked by the grief of a genocide that killed one in eight Rwandans in 1994. Overwhelmed by an enormous backlog of court cases, the government has returned over 50,000 genocide perpetrators back to the very communities they helped to destroy. Without the hope of full justice, Rwanda has turned to a new solution: Reconciliation.
But can it be done? Can survivors truly forgive the killers who destroyed their families? Can the government expect this from its people? And can the church, which failed at moral leadership during the genocide, fit into the process of reconciliation today? In As We Forgive, director Laura Waters Hinson and narrator Mia Farrow explore these topics through the lives of four neighbors once caught in opposite tides of a genocidal bloodbath, and their extraordinary journey from death to life through forgiveness.
Running time: 53 minutes..
As We Forgive: The Story of Rwanda's Redemption
Sinjye Mwami-Hindurwa - Music Videos
"Enric Sifa with Hindurwa sings "It's not me Lord, but You" with village children in Rwanda. Hindurwa is a group of four young men in Rwanda who sing about God's power to transform anyone from hopeless situations. Enric Sifa leads the group and composes all their music. Hindurwa toured in the US in 2006 and 2007, and hope to return in 2008. Hindurwa is a ministry of Africa New Life Ministries, a Christian organization that supports orphaned and poor children to attend school. See www.anlm.org, www.hindurwa.com, www.enricsifa.com"