This week marks 21 years since the genocide against the Tutsi began in Rwanda in 1994. Though I am not Rwandan myself, this country is my second home, my permanent home currently, and the only place in the world where I have officially lived for a long period of time other than my birth country, Canada. Thus, Rwanda is special to me and I grieve for her losses in my own way.
There is not much to say that hasn't already been said, so I will keep my thoughts brief. What I love about Rwanda is how inspired I am by the people here, who have overcome the deepest and most scarring tragedy of the past. Regardless of the controversy over political affairs and other matters, the fact remains that regular people, average people, mother, fathers, children, suffered tragically across this tiny but beautiful country. The world failed Rwanda in that time. Failed horribly. But Rwanda rose above, in spite of all the greatest odds, and continues rising today. My hope and my prayer for this incredible country is that they continue to grow and prosper for years to come, as a symbol of peace, reconciliation and meaningful democracy, and as a pillar of strength, dignity and African development that stands as a shining light of promise for other nations. Rwanda will always remember, but it will also continue to unite and renew to keep on moving forward. After all, forward, onward and upward are the only directions left to take.
With love and hope,
Katie Carlson, Founder & CEO
Paper Crown Institute