Help Rwandan orphans overcome a violent legacy

 
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Jun 14, 2011

What youth say about intergenerational dialogues

 

June 14, 2011

 Dear Friends of Stories For Hope,

Thank you for your continued support in lifting the veil of silence in Rwanda, for the sake of the next generation. We are jumping for joy!  Young people in Rwanda said they liked the project as they bid goodbye to us, CDs in hand,  but we didn’t know why—until now.   After spending all winter transcribing tapes following up inter-generational dialogues, we feel more confident in saying, “It works!”

In November, 2010 a team of Rwandan professionals traveled to Byumba to hear from 24 youth participants about why they chose to take part in our dialogue program, and about the differences it has made in their lives.

 Scroll through these comments. Make your day by hearing how your continued contributions helps. If you can find a way to keep donating, I can assure you with great confidence that you are making a difference in Rwanda.

 

At first I was not doing so well in school and through listening to her story she encouraged me to do better in school and I now feel as though I have the heart and guts to go on and do well in school.

 From the story I got to know how I was born, the way I was born, how I grew up, and this has helped to make a difference between how I was behaving at first and how I behave afterwards and this will help me to help others that are in the same situation.

 Before I was afraid of asking my guardian about things. Now that I have come to the storytelling I feel more free to talk to her about my questions; I am very grateful for this.

 I wanted to know about the lifestyle of my dad when he was younger...It is very important because if I encounter the same problems I will be strong enough.

 I have listened to my CD many  times... Because our parents passed away when we were so little my sister was very happy that she got to listen to the story from my aunt, something she had never been able to do before....

On special Sundays when Jean Rene does not have to go to school we listen to the CD-we have listened to it at least 3 times per month every month since the storytelling. There has not been a month that we haven’t listened to it....Actually we listen to it because it gives us the strength to go on-it gives us the strength for the future, to go on in the future. My brother, Jean Rene, really loves the story and sometimes he calls his friends and says come listen to the story with me and my brother. He has become an outgoing person-he used to be really in his shell and not talk to other people but now he is free and talks to other people.

 Immediately after sharing my story I started feeling flexible towards the people I had issues with. Before we were going to court because the people were destroying the properties but after the sharing he started understanding them and gaining hear and forgiveness towards them....Yes because I had opened up first I now started sharing with them and even with the children of the parents who had destroyed the property; these children are now my friends and we share together.

 After the discussion we now talk more about the past …I wanted to show her, though, that people in authority are not always correct and use tools to trick you into following their rules. You don’t have to follow these rules and by recognizing these tricks you can live a life free from discrimination.

 I got more knowledge about the family history and after the storytelling I became more optimistic to ask questions because now that I have the basic knowledge, I feel more confident to ask questions

 I regard the S4H project as an uncommon event-it was so uncommon it was unusual for me and I went and started sharing my story with other people. I told them I saw a good project, a good event.

 For example, my children did not know that I once had another wife and we divorced, so now I tell them this story

 Yes it opened up a platform between us; it removed the fear I had because at first I was fearful trying to protect her because I wanted to know how do I tell my daughter about the genocide...Other stories were about telling her to protect herself so that she won’t get HIV or AIDS and how she can live in harmony with other people.

 Previously the youth had the perception that it was of no use to talk to the elders because the elders had old ways of thinking and so it didn’t make sense to ask the elders questions because they are out-dated people. But, after hearing the story I now knew that it’s good to hear from elders s=because they have a lot to tell to others so that in the future it prevents you from just saying what you want because now you have a reference-this story was a great reference for me...

 The storytelling was important to me because I started feeling a recharger of myself-it gave me curiosity to ask questions and write it down which is like in the developed countries because in developed countries they like to write everything down so someone who has more knowledge add on it, they don’t go back to their roots, they add and add. Immediately after hearing the story I felt like a person with great knowledge and wanted to do research to learn more.

 The difference it made in my life is after revealing the truth, after telling my son about the past, I felt as a person of great importance. The difference it made is that I was able to transmit the knowledge to another person-but I am now on the right track and other people will come forth and share.

COME FORTH AND SHARE.........great works.  Best,  Patricia


 

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Project Leader

Patricia Pasick

Ann Arbor, Michigan United States

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