The Uncommon Man

September 21, 2007

Rwanda: The Journey Begins

Associate Director James Arana, who with Executive Director Steven Botkin leaves for Rwanda on Sunday, September 23, writes:

Our journey to Rwanda started during a meeting in the Haymarket Café in Northampton Mass. where we handed over some copies of our brand new, hot-off-the-press MRI brochure to Adin Thayer of the Karuna Center. Adin was leaving for one of her many trips to Rwanda and asked if we would like her to pass out our brochures. A few months later, Fidèle Rutayisire of Rwanda emailed MRI to get information on how to start a men's center and the communication never ceased. Fidèle did his research and, after long emails and phone consultations with MRI, assembled his potential board members together and the Rwanda Men's Center was born. Six months later, Fidèle joined us in Nigeria for an MRI training.

What a pleasure it was to meet Fidèle after months of email and phone conversations! He, along with 35 other Nigerians, Zambians, and MRI staff from the Americas, embarked on a rigorous training to help bring everyone together around the work of supporting African men to end gender-based violence.

So, to say that we are excited to be going to Rwanda is an understatement. The realization that I'm going back to Africa, the motherland, is overwhelming. This trip is important to MRI because to support a people and a country that has gone through so much harrowing violence over its recent past is an honor. We've listened to Fidèle, joined in his work to form the Rwanda Men's Center, and, though there's much yet to be done, we join in his pride of the accomplishments so far.

You can follow our progress in Rwanda by visiting this blog during the time that we are there. We invite you to share in the exhilarating development of the Rwanda Men's Resource Centre.

Steven, James, and Adin with Colleagues
from Zambia and Nigeria

Adin Thayer, MRI Associate Trainer

Posted by Jorge at September 21, 2007 07:07 PM


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