Rwanda: Speak, I'm Listening - The Journey Complete
Written by Leonie Quayle - author of 'Rwanda: Speak, I'm Listening'
Arriving at the Mbwirandumva Initiative front gate in July 2012 with a special package to deliver was a full circle moment for me. It was six years ago that I'd first come to know about the Centre (translated in English as 'Speak, I'm Listening'), founded by Beatrice Mukansinga and the place where many girls and women had come, and continue to come, to find healing and hope. In 2006 I met Beatrice and heard first hand the stories of individual women who had survived the 1994 Rwandan genocide and were now living with the physical and emotional scars caused by that traumatic time. I learned that many of the women's stories had been documented but were not available in English. My commitment to translate the stories from Kinyarwanda to English gradually evolved into the book project 'Rwanda: Speak, I'm Listening'. It took six long years, but the end result - a combination of testimony and photography exploring Rwanda's history, present and future - is something I was proud to show Beatrice who was the catalyst of it all.
As I'd come to expect when visiting the centre, there was beautiful singing and traditional Rwandan dance, which our group gladly joined in on! It was a special moment of celebration shared with the girls who were being supported by the Centre; girls with their own stories. At 'Speak, I'm Listening' women find counselling, friendship and skills for generating income to support themselves and their family. It is my prayer that many more just like them will be reached through the support we are able to provide the Centre through the sale of the book.
Pictures: Leonie Quayle presents the book to Beatrice Mukansinga; work being done at Speak, I'm Listening; celebrations; proud moments after an incredible six journey to publish 'Rwanda: Speak, I'm Listening'
Proceeds from 'Rwanda: Speak, I'm Listening go to the Mbwirandumva Initiative and HOPE: Global projects.
The book can be purchased here.