LSM Newswire

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Rwandan genocide benefit - McGill Students in Kigali


RWANDAN TUTSI GENOCIDE SURVIVOR, NOW MCGILL LAW STUDENT,

TO SPEAK AT BENEFIT CONCERT IN SUPPORT OF WOMENS COLLECTIVE

Montreal July 3, 2008

25 year-old survivor of the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda, and human rights activist, Eloge Christian Butera, will speak at a benefit concert on Wednesday July 9 at Centre St-Ambroise (5080-A St. Ambroise). The event will raise funds for Tubahumarize, a womens collective based in Kigali, Rwanda.

This event will provide assistance for a generation of women in Rwanda who are working to overcome the struggles they face in life post-genocide. The collective works with women in the community through capacity building and skills development Butera explains.

Tubahumarize was founded by Buteras mother, Jeanne Mwiliriza, to provide trauma counseling and support to widows and orphans of the genocide. Since then, the collective has grown to help hundreds of women and children escape domestic violence. It is now following the example set by Bangladeshi Nobel Laureate, Mohammad Yunus, by expanding its income-generating activities and providing micro-credit to women.

The fundraiser is the brainchild of sisters Helen and Anita Nowak, who plan to visit Kigali later this month as volunteers for Tubahumarize. We want to arrive with a cheque for at least $5000 to demonstrate our solidarity with Rwandan women who seek freedom from oppression, says Helen, also a McGill law student.

The idea was spawned last fall after hearing Esther Mujawayo, another survivor, give a testimonial at the Global Conference on the Prevention of Genocide hosted by McGill (http://efchr.mcgill.ca/ConferenceOrganisers_en.php?menu=14). Her words were a clarion call to action for me, as I couldnt escape thinking, If I am not part of the solution, then Im part of the problem, adds Anita, a doctoral student at McGill, who also works as a professional fundraiser for The Study, a girls school in Westmount.

The benefit concert will take place from 5:30-7:30pm and will include musical performances by Isabelle Metwalli, Scott McLeod and Dana Salter & Band. The venue is proudly sponsored by the McAuslan Brewery.

Butera is confident the event will be a success: This concert will raise much needed funds for an incredibly worthwhile cause.

Suggested donations at the door are $20 for students and $50 for non-students. All are welcome.

For more information, please contact Helen Nowak at helennowak@yahoo.com or (514) 515-3707 or Anita Nowak at anowak@thestudy.qc.ca or (514) 966-4740.

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