Reverend Désiré Rutaganda is the Coordinator of the Centre for Documentation and Training in Kigali, Rwanda. This interfaith organisation was established in 1999 to live out the Christian values of peace and reconciliation, which were disappointingly absent from some churches and believers during the Tutsi genocide. Today, as people of God, they model how peace can transform communities for peace at the grassroots. Their dream is that today's youth will never know the war that plagued Rwanda from 1959 to 1993, and instead, will be agents of peace.
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Modise Phekouyane used to be a hateful inmate of Robben Island who called Nelson Mandela a traitor. Today, he embodies forgiveness and reconciliation so that neither he, nor his former oppressors, will remain victims of apartheid.
In 1994, I watched the events of the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda unfold from my living room in Toronto, Canada. I felt distant from the crisis, insulated, safe, and powerless. At the same time, I was in anguish that people could kill other people, especially those whom they previously called friend. Within one hundred days, 800,000 lives were lost. It seems to me that they were a preventable loss, if the world truly valued those lives.
I have the audacity to believe that we can all make a difference, and I want to devote my life to promoting peace. Indeed, I believe it's the work God called me in this life to do. I've spent years dreaming about what might make a difference, and people resonate with my passion and ideas. But alone, I can just blog, tweet, share my experiences, and fan the "smouldering wicks" of people whose faith in peace on earth is running out.