It is often quoted that those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it. Never is that sentiment more important than in regards to genocide. Unfortunately, we still live in a world where it is acceptable to deny genocide or defend its perpetrators. That is the reason our End of Atrocity series and the various interviews we conduct with Armenian and Tibetan survivors are so important. The Armenian Genocide, which is generally considered by most scholars to be the first modern genocide, is still routinely denied around the world and is only recognized by 43 out of 50 states within the United States. Meanwhile, the Tibetan cultural genocide is ongoing as Tibetans fight to regain their rightful place in relation to the Chinese government.
Over the the course of the next few months, 3 Generations hopes to expand its collection of Armenian and Tibetan survivor stories. As such, 3G has connected with the New York Armenian Home in Flushing, Queens where we hope to interview Azniv, a 104 year old survivor of the Armenian genocide, along with her daughter, Arpi. Likewise, 3G has reached out to Rinchin Dharlo, current president of the Tibet Fund here in New York and former North American representative to the Dalai Lama, and Thupten Jinpa Langri, who has held the position of principle English translator and interpreter for His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the past 29 years.
In our experience, it is far more difficult to deny a human atrocity when a survivor lays out his or her unfiltered experiences. Please join us in rallying around the survivors and help us capture their stories so they are not lost to history.
Today, as Rwanda commemorates the 20th anniversary of the brutal genocide that left 800,000 dead and 2 million displaced, politicians and pundits around the world will once again take to the newspaper columns and TV talk shows to discuss Rwanda's progress since the genocide. Such debates, however, often take away from the more basic truth that is: healing is unquantifiable; 20 years later, reconciliation continues to occur one encounter at a time.
So what do these 'encounters' look like? For some, like those featured in the New York Times Magazine piece, Portraits of Reconciliation, reconciliation has been person-to-person; it's been neighbor apologizing to neighbor, friend to friend, perpetrator to survivor. For the vast majority however, reconciliation has been and continues to be a personal struggle.
We at 3 Generations believe in the power of storytelling to facillitate catharsis and empower the storyteller. Today, on the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, please help us offer the same opportunity we were able to provide Freddy, Anne Marie, Patrick, and Francine years ago. Donate to our End of Atrocity campaign today.
Starting next Monday, Global Giving UK is matching donations by 50%! All online donations received through the GlobalGiving.co.uk site (but NOT GlobalGiving.org) will be eligible for the 50% matching funds (until matching funds run out).
There are other exciting prizes as well including cash bonuses of £1,000 and £500 for the top two projects that generate the largest amount of money and £500 for the top project to solicit the greatest number of unique donations by the end of the campaign on March 10th, 2014.
But don't dilly dally. As stated above, these funds will run out so be sure to mark your calendars for March 3rd, 2014. Matching begins at 12:01 am GMT and will end on March 10th at 11:59 am BST.
Once again, thank you for all your support and be sure to check out 3 Generations' newest Global Giving project - Why We Speak: Help Spread Syrian Stories.
The new year typically brings a sense of renewel; of second chances and opportunities to change. These qualities are of particular revelence this year as the formerly genocide-stricken countries of Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia and Cambodia begin preparations for the closure of the UN supported International Criminal Tribunals. On December 31st, 2014, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia will close their doors after twenty years of intensive work. The Cambodian Khmer Rouge Tribunal, meanwhile, will continue operating through 2014, with plans to close in 2015. Such plans undoubtably beg the question: where are these countries now?
The answer to this question is not an easy one to come by. Studying tribunal indictment and conviction numbers, intermarriage statistics or birthrates certainly provide critical indicators, but quantifying healing and reconciliation is ultimately limiting. As a story-telling organization, 3 Generations believes in the power and value of the human voice to spur healing and reconciliation within the storyteller and within his/her community. Healing, of course, has no timeline or limits and looking at the stories of survivors like Mom Soeun, Monica Chum, Freddy Mutunguha, or Patrick Irregura, for example, we can see the healing process still in action ten, twenty, and thirty years after the Cambodian and Rwandan genocides.
The closures of the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, and Cambodia this year and next will not, therefore, mark the end of these dark chapters of history. Rather, the tribunal closures will mark the beginning of a new phase of healing; one that we must hope will be characterized by cultural rebirth, self-actualization, and nationalism and one that will undoubtably be built around the memory of the shared tragedy. It is for this reason that 3 Generations has made an effort to begin collecting stories of cultural regeneration to display alongside our survivor stories. These efforts, however, require both time and money. Donate today, and you can help us shed light on the stories and rebuilding efforts of these incredible survivors.
Thank you for your continued support.
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3 Generations Founder and President