Since 2005, I have sponsored a sister in Rwanda annually through http://womenforwomen.org/ We exchange pictures of ourselves and letters. The sisters get training in their rights, income-earning skills and ways to improve their families' lives, therefore improving the community, as well. My sisters live without electricity in their homes, without indoor water and oftentimes cannot afford to send their children to school. My sister this year was able to buy a goat and some chickens with the $27 a month that I provide. This has enabled her to send her children to school. This is very satisfying to me because children need to go to school. Many women are raising other women's children because the children's mothers or grandmothers were murdered.
Knowing that the world abandoned the 800,000 to one million Rwandans in 1994 who died in a genocide, I wanted to reach out to the women one-to-one and help them have a bit better lives.
I currently volunteer as a community leader trying to bring the needed attention to the Darfuri people who have had genocide by their own government on-going since 2003. The world has known this and virtually has done nothing.
The paintings in the video are by Sandra Hammel, as are the photos and video. Except for the paintings, everything in the video is from Aquidneck Island where I live. The paintings are done of photographs from Oprah's first televised trip to South Africa.
Original music: "Our Shared Breath".
The photography and video locations: Sachuest Beach and Sachuest Wildlife Refuge, Middletown, Rhode Island. The Cliff Walk and Eastons Beach in Newport, Rhode Island. Brenton Cove, Newport, Rhode Island.
This video is a tribute to my sisters of Rwanda who are an inspiration to me. Whenever I feel my life is not going as I want, I think of their lives, as well as the millions of Darfuri refugees who are trying to survive dire situations in the camps. It puts things in perspective immediately.
Educate yourself about the Darfuri families and help humanity live up to higher values. Humanity is worth it.
"No More Empty Promises"
Websites to learn:
By a Darfuri living in the United States of America:
The basics about Darfur:
Comments to President Obama:
Thank you for standing for justice and peace
and being a voice for this defining issue
GENOCIDE WILL STOP WITH US
We are visitors on this planet.
We are here for ninety or one hundred years
at the very most.
During that period,
we must try to do something good,
something useful, with our lives.
If you contribute to other peoples happiness,
You will find the true goal, the true meaning of life.
H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama