Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch

Welcome to
Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch Blog. Our objective is to promote the institutions of democracy,social justice,Human Rights,Peace, Freedom of Expression, and Respect to humanity in Rwanda,Uganda,DR Congo, Burundi,Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya,Ethiopia, and Somalia. We strongly believe that Africa will develop if only our presidents stop being rulers of men and become leaders of citizens. We support Breaking the Silence Campaign for DR Congo since we believe the democracy in Rwanda means peace in DRC. Follow this link to learn more about the origin of the war in both Rwanda and DR Congo:

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Face of Resilience: Rwandan Refugee Jean Luc Dushime Finds His Voice

Mara Abrams for SPLASHLIFE
Jean Luc Dushime
Jean Luc Dushime is the face of resilience. He is a fun-loving guy who can chat up a room and light it up with his smile, and an outdoorsman who loves to snowboard and surf — it is nearly impossible to imagine the atrocities he endured earlier in life.

As a teenager, Jean Luc survived the Rwandan genocide of 1994 — an ethnic clash between the Hutus and the Tutsis that killed 800,000 people, including many of his friends and family members. Soon after, he and his mother, carrying his little brother who was only a baby at the time, fled across the treacherous jungles of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on what is known as The Long Walk— 4,000 miles on foot for six months, dodging bullets, escaping quicksand, fighting for food, and moving forward with the clothing on his back hanging on by threads.

He survived, and six years ago came to the United States as a refugee. Earning a degree in public relations at Champlain College in Vermont and now living a relatively comfortable lifestyle in an ocean-side apartment in Santa Monica, California, he carries on with a different set of challenges — fulfilling his mission to tell his story, while facing the same hurdle as millions of young people — unemployment in America. Despite holding a college degree and being fully legally qualified to work in the U.S., he is still struggling to find work. But he remains optimistic. If there’s anyone who can ride the wave, it is Jean Luc.

What’s your life like now?
“For the first time in my life, I live in a place where I can make my own decisions and just go for it. I moved here, got an education, built a strong network of people who care [about] what I care about. It hasn’t been easy but I never thought that I could dream about something and see it through. Telling this story has been big for me. After the war, I told myself I didn’t survive just to live. I survived so I could tell this story. That was my dream.”

What are you working on now?
“Last week I posted a project on Kickstarter.comto tell the stories of survival of The Long Walkthrough video, interviews, photography, and a book, focusing on refugees now living in the U.S. In less than five hours it was funded and I am still getting donations in. I was shocked! I didn’t think it would happen, but for me it’s a sign that I’m on the right path, that this story needs to be told and there are people out there who are waiting to hear it. Now I want to raise more money to return to the Congo for the first time since I fled. It’s not an easy thing. There are a lot of fears I have to overcome, but I feel a responsibility to tell the story. The things I went through, being traumatized — I thought that I deserved it. I used to hate myself and where I came from. But now I know I was just a young, innocent kid. No one deserves to go through what I went through. It feels pretty awesome to be able to tell the story now, and I’m trying to convince other survivors to tell their stories, too. I don’t know where this path is going to take me, but I’m willing to see it through.”

Why is it important for you to tell your story?
“Rwanda will never recover until the story is told. Until the Hutus can cry for the Tutsis and the Tutsis can cry for the Hutus there will not be reconciliation. Even the survivors from opposing sides of the conflict are getting together, having fun, but no one is willing to open the wounds of the past so they can get healed. Through this story I hope to engage young people in a dialogue and share the struggles and fears and make sure this thing doesn’t happen again. And it will happen again if nobody talks about it.”

What advice do you have for the struggling generation of young Americans?
“I’m struggling to find a job. Rather than waiting around … we can follow our passion, and if you don’t have one yet you can help fulfill someone else’s passion. In helping other people realize their dreams we fulfill our own lives. Most of us have some form of training and education that can benefit the community. You can volunteer, and you can keep educating yourself. Just try to be creative. If a job is not working for someone, if there are doors that are closed, there’s a message there we have to understand. We are forced to look into ourselves and find something that society doesn’t have, that society needs. Don’t feel discouraged or useless. We are bright, we are young, we are smart … maybe it’s just that the world is not ready for us yet.”

How do you reconcile your past with your future?
“I don’t think I’ll ever totally move on. But I made a decision that I want to live every day like it’s the last one. My past gives me strength to live harder, faster, and more fully. But I don’t let myself get depressed because of my past. I haven’t moved on, but I’ll find a way to make peace with my past and use it for good. So I’m moving forward with peace and compassion and forgiveness and everything I do in everyday life. I use all these lessons every day.”

Want to learn more about Jean-Luc? Visit his book project and his photography portfolio.


Anonymous said...

But is Bensko rеally conсerneԁ approximately the гobustnesѕ оf Granthi Rudra y est?

localizadο en el ?rea del tercer ojo. Υour neck
opening is can assist уοu to сhoоse thе one who ѕhares the like desires and prefeгences.

Also visit my web site: Tantric Massage London

Anonymous said...

After application the hair is simply dried, either naturally or using a drier.
This article will explain the hair product diversion conspiracy and list ways that you can determine
whether or not the beloved salon brand you saw in Walgreens last week was truly diverted merchandise
or strategically placed by the powers that be.
A well groomed woman will look to her hair and makeup first and
a poll of 3,000 females across the UK revealed that about 44% feel attractive if they are having a good hair day, this compares to 16% who felt pleased with their appearance if good teeth gave them that winning smile.

my web blog ... hair products

Anonymous said...

37 kits (round that up to 9 total quart and a half kits).
Also, keep in mind that the ingredients for the mix should be bought from a home improvement store to insure
quality. * Not Ideal For Floors: While this is a great option for the walls, it's a less-than-impressive option for the floors.

Also visit my weblog concrete

Anonymous said...

One of her most popular products are her organic vegetable seedlings, especially the tomatoes, which are
cool-weather varieties that do well on California's foggy Central Coast. 5 will decrease the availability of lead from your soil. Grab a few bags of organic potting soil and lean them up against the sunny side of your garage or a brick wall of your home.

Here is my web-site: imperative

Anonymous said...

With the ability to actually alter the texture and condition
of the hair with clever and fashion-forward hair styling products, Rusk Being products are sure to intrigue the hair product lover in all of us.

This article will explain the hair product diversion conspiracy and list ways that you can determine whether or not the
beloved salon brand you saw in Walgreens last week was truly diverted merchandise or strategically placed by the powers that be.
Both brands are popular in known hair salons and spas.

Here is my blog; hair products

Anonymous said...

This simulator combines the realistic control panels and control experience
with the military element. You must know the different points that you want from a gaming just
before you acquire 1. At this time, and in
a good location, the leader should set up a few anchors and
belay the second climber so he can climb up and hand off the equipment he has been recovering.
Flight - simulator flight simulation features highly detailed time
of day modeling and can track the current computer clock
time in order to correctly place the sun, moon, stars,
etc. Usually, would need to follow the entire startup sequence to start any of the airplanes, but FSP also has the auto start feature,
to make it easier for newbie’s.

Anonymous said...

There are so many ways to use brick, block, slabs, rocks, gravel
and other stone formations. Try and keep all of your tools and
items organized in a neat way. One particular of the primary regions within the mining market in Australia which
has observed the fantastic boost in the employment of ladies
is dump trucking.

Anonymous said...

Dont let the packaging fool you into buying something that
may damage your hair. As well as in this article I am going
to explain why and how to use it to cultivate hair - According to
dermatologist Marianne ODonoghue its the most proven
supplement for growing a prolonged mane. It only leaves a lustrous sheath on the hair and gives it a beautiful look rather
and the greasy effect that is left by the usual hair oils.
From my experience, it is quite difficult to style hair immediately after a hot oil treatment, so you might want to skip the curling iron or hot rollers.
Many people use hair greases to keep their hair moisturized.

Feel free to visit my page natural hair products

Anonymous said...

In contrast, the non-organic gardener is more likely to use chemically created
fertilizers. 5 will decrease the availability of lead from your soil.

Subtle gardening themes act upon the subconscious, and merely give the observer a pleasant feeling.

Also visit my blog; shallop

Anonymous said...

I have been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers
made good content as you did, the net will be a lot more
useful than ever before.

Check out my web page: fat loss factor