March 27, 2012
This post contains audio. Listen to the talk here.
I recently spoke with Jules Shell, co-founder and executive director of Foundation Rwanda. Begun in July of 2008, Foundation Rwanda has the primary goal of helping mothers fulfill the wish for their children to have secondary school education.
From Foundation Rwanda's site:
"In February of 2006, photojournalist Jonathan Torgovnik traveled to East Africa with then Newsweek health editor Geoffrey Cowley to report on a story for Newsweek Magazine about the 25th year anniversary of the inception of HIV/AIDS.
While in Rwanda, Jonathan heard the testimony of Margaret, a survivor who was raped during the genocide and as a result of the rape had a child and contracted HIV/AIDS. While there, he began feeling incredible parallels between the Holocaust in which his grandfather was murdered and the Rwandan genocide. Later that year, Jonathan decided to return to Rwanda on his own accord to work on a personal project about women who were raped during the genocide and had a child as a result.
He returned with Jules Shell to find that there are an estimated 20,000 children who were born as a result of sexual crimes during the genocide. The mothers of these children -- many of whom contracted the HIV/AIDS virus -- had largely been shunned by their communities and their few surviving relatives due to the stigma of rape and "having a child of a militia." Many of the mothers expressed the desire for their children to have a brighter future but are unable to provide for their education. Forced into poverty, they are unable to pay the annual $350 for their children to attend secondary school. Foundation Rwanda was officially started in July of 2008."
Learn more about Foundation Rwanda at their website here, or donate to support their efforts. On April 4, 2012 Foundation Rwanda will be hosting an event in New York City, an Evening of Food and Photos. For those interested in their work, this will be a good way to support their cause and eat some great food!
Purchase the Color Rwanda coloring Book!
Picture of Agathe before receiving her new set of teeth.
Picture of Agathe with Dr. Jonathan Levine of GLO Brilliant™
Photographs of Agathe and Color Rwanda by:
© Jonathan Togorvnik/ Foundation Rwanda
Photgraph of Jules Shell on homepage tile by:
©Robin Marchant/Getty Images of North America.
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Jules Shell speaks about Foundation Rwanda