INSPIRING STORY OF THE WEEK: KUBONA INZIRA by Lois W. Stern
INSPIRING STORY OF THE WEEK
KUBONA INZIRA – FINDING THE WAY AFTER BEING LOST
by Lois W. Stern
Sometimes good follows tragedy.
Read the inspiring story of Michel Kayiranga to learn how.
You might recall the horrors wrought by the 1994 Rwandan 100 day civil war, and wonder how this could possibly be an inspiring story. Can a country left in ruins, with over one million Tutsi men, women and children brutally slaughtered, be inspiring? Read on.
Armed with an engineering degree and a winning lottery ticket, Michel received a green card and an airline ticket to the US. He got a job as an engineer in Los Angeles and began to settle down. But his life felt incomplete. In the days after 9/11, Michel joined the military to fight for freedom against the terrorists who had attacked the United States. Even though the U.S. had done nothing to help his country during the genocide that killed his family, Michel served in the US navy. Afterwards, he moved to Seattle to work as an engineer for GE.
Enter Rwanda Partners
Meanwhile, in 2004 a non-profit organization known as Rwanda Partners (RP) emerged. RP, a fair trade organization committed to fighting poverty in East Africa, was working to help restore hope to the poor and marginalized. Through both education and job creation projects, RP had a further goal in mind. They wanted to bring together once bitter enemies among the Rwandan people in an effort to help heal the wounds of this ghastly war. They initiated several income-generating projects such as basket weaving, beading and sewing cooperatives, and through these initiative succeeded in establishing working relationships between many former enemies.
At some point Greg Stone, Executive Director of Rwanda Partners, asked Michel if he would be willing to go back to Rwanda to serve as country director of the Rwanda Partners project. Although Michel thought he had left that part of his life behind, Greg’s offer ignited a second calling in him. Michel has impacted deeply on the lives of many of these basket weavers. Once you read his gift of compassion inspiring story, you are likely to agree. While Michel was helping many Rwandanese to find their way back, he was also “Kubona Inzira”, *Finding the way after being lost.
Kubona Inzira is now published in
TALES2INSPIRE ~ THE RUBY COLLECTION
Gifts of Compassion