“It's important for us to step up and take initiative—because now, our husbands and others in society are listening to us and respecting what we have to say.”
This International Women’s Day, we are highlighting the accomplishments of participants in the Lifting Women’s Voices, Lifting Our Communities project. Though this was a relatively small-scale initiative, it is having an impact—reflecting the collective power and dedication of the women who participated. Karuna Center's team trained and coached 90 women in rural Madagascar in advocacy last year, increasing their leadership skills as their communities face rapid change.
If there is one idea on which people across the U.S. political spectrum can agree, it's that our country is deeply divided. We are living through a degree of polarization that cuts to the heart of how we perceive other groups of people, and even we feel is worthy of empathy.
Today, the day before Giving Tuesday, we would like to share our gratitude for the incredible generosity of the Youth Champions in the Healing Our Communities program—who give help, hope, and inspiration in their communities and beyond.
The Youth Champions are a powerful force for change as Rwanda continues to recover from the 1994 genocide. In just the past year, 232 active youth club members within Healing Our Communities have led 209 activities. They have built homes, gardens, kitchens, and latrines for vulnerable elders, widows, orphans, and families, bringing communities together as they go.
They have led commemoration events; cleaned memorial sites; held plays about peacebuilding in many neighboring communities; and organized sports tournaments with themes of peace. They have pooled their own savings to bring food to those less fortunate or buy materials to complete their projects for those in need. These youth regularly speak up at district and sector level meetings and have become known as peacebuilders in their communities.
Youth Champions have also emerged as skilled media producers, with support from Aegis Trust through Healing Our Communities. Here are just a few of the 18 short videos youth have produced to tell stories of reconciliation, hope, compassion, and forgiveness:
Karuna in the World is your link to our work around the globe. Check back often to read our inspiring stories or subscribe to our email list to have them sent directly to your email inbox!