Rwanda itself is struggling to be a better country. Still in the complex and painful process of finding justice and reconciling conflict. Her people are recuperating from the 1994 genocide led by the Interhamwe, a Hutu civilian militia of anti-BwaTutsi extremists, who slaughtered almost 1,000,000 people. As one walked through the streets men clad, almost ironically, in a uniform of rose pink shirts and shorts were spotted cleaning the road sides. They were imprisoned genociders charged with maintaining the country's pristine parks and excellent roads.
Rwanda is now tackling its development challenges head-on with President Paul Kagame's government, the discovery of natural gas, and streaming foreign investment. This literally young country (the average age of Rwanda's population is 15 years old) aims to heal and rebuild itself swiftly.
With a focus on the arts, Habineza pointed to the vital role of culture in pulling his country and its economy together. "[In Rwanda] we use one language. We are one culture, one people but for bad leadership. Bad leadership even used the arts: media and song, to encourage hatred. What did we use to correct this? We used the arts to heal and bring back unity to the country....Government feels the challenge is to get our artists to use their creativity to compete worldwide, using our dance, clothing, and music. The creativity of artists makes them successful and their success makes Rwanda successful."
Supporting Rwanda's rebuilding and rebirthing process can make life beautiful for her orphans and 6,000 street children, and ultimately our own children no matter where they are. During the closing night's fire-work ceremonies, Samputus performance was joined by some seventy cheerfully clad children- many of whom lived on the streets of the nation's capital. Often parentless, one of the many blisters of genocide, they sang in joyful voices. Their song: I Dream I Can Fly.
To send support for children in Rwanda contact Mr. Napoleon Ahmed Mbonyunkiza of AROENA SAUVE LES ENFANTS, Rwandan Association for Orphans and Non-Accompanied Children at 250.08.54.76.10.