Alexandra Sanchez (Republic of California, AC-’08-10)
Although the 2009 Atlantic College Rwanda Summer Project has been written about, and has been finished since late June, we know that many organizations, movements, and goals always linger. In fact, we hold to our ideas as writers and as observers of our world that we must maintain our communication, and our respect as well as our help onhand for those we truly believe engage in some sort of bettering of the community.
As Rina mentioned mentioned in her article, “Rwanda of a thousand stories,” we had the priviledge of working with a magazine in Kigali, Rwanda, The Blink Magazine. And yes, they do live the “Funky lifestyle,” the emotion for Rastafarians, HipHop and globalized underground culture seeping through the magazine. They also promote the cultural ideas that are inherent in Rwandan and most particularly, East African culture, whether old or young. It is notable that this magazine was founded to promote a reading culture in Rwanda, and became one of the first magazines in the country. On one hand, there lie the desire to promote reading; the promotion of eco-friendly toilets; the mandatory community cleanup on the last Sunday of the month; the miraculous attention to the Genocide of 1994, seemingly battling to forget it; the legislation of Vision 2020, a measure to improve health, education, and programs for youth; the installation of solar panels in a revolutionary sort of vocational school, and on the other, there lies a country without copywrights for its most famous artists. It baffles me, and yet, I have much hope for Rwanda. The foresight that The Blink, the government of Rwanda (as far as I investigated), and so many of the NGOs (ministries revolving around orphan education, music, and the community) have is impecable. Compared to countries who use the excuse of developement in order to cut back on oil consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions, Rwanda is at the top of its league. If, as word has it, Rwanda has been developing at a a quicker rate that Uganda in the last several years, there is much to say about the inevitable prosperity its children will create and flourish in. It lies in the movement towards better education, in the knowledge that “‘l’education est devenue notre voie pour l’avenir.” (“education has become our path to the future,” posted in an exhibit in the Rwandan Genocide Memorial in Kigali). Continue reading