Monday, November 20, 2006

Rwandan Genocide Memorial

Rwandan Genocide Memorial
Originally uploaded by tomgivemeaning.

8:50pm, Saturday November 18th, 2006
Goma, DR Congo

My heart is broken. My last stop before leaving Rwanda was at one of the many Genocide memorials in Rwanda. On this trip, I have spoken of the great hope, the beauty, the strength. Here today, I saw the effects of pure evil. But equally damning was the conscious apathy, the deliberate ignorance, the practiced deflection of responsibility. I want to write about what I saw today but it won't mean much to you. It will only sound awful. I was left with this opinion:

The act of bludgeoning a 2 year old child to death is as brutal as being able to stop that murder and choosing to do nothing.

I can't write anything more. I want to end this entry with a call to action. To support the counseling efforts of the survivors, to support the orphans, to give a damn about what's going on in Sudan, to do all and more.

The truth is, I don't know enough yet. This was the most frustrating way to leave Rwanda, to experience at the end of this trip. I am filled with rage, devastation and incredulity.

As I sat at the mass grave looking at the stacked caskets that each contained the severed body parts of numerous people, I told myself that these people didn't die in vain. They died for peace and for unification of their country. It seems feeble but it was nevertheless my hope. But this country has not fully healed. The need for more trained counselors, for better basic and psychological care of the orphans and for a continual promotion of peace and reconciliation is needed. I hope to identify suitable projects to finance through GiveMeaning.

I am also humbled by my own pettiness. There is thankfully nothing in my life that compares to what the people of this country have suffered. That Rwandan's are able even to provide the semblance of forgiveness is amazing. That they have found peace and a way to live with one another makes me feel a fool for thinking I have reason or rationale to hold on to my resentments.

To every single person reading this blog: Come here. See what I've seen.

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