Updated: 4:58 p.m. 10/20/09
Reconciliation’s Reach teaches students new perspectives for preventing and managing conflict through viewing the experiences of Rwandan genocide survivors and perpetrators as they rehumanize their former enemies. We strive to inspire children and young adults in the United States and around the world to engage in conversations to build peaceful coexistence and prevent violence by preserving partnerships and rebuilding broken relationships in their communities.
How Rwanda Can Help Your Community
In Reconciliation’s Reach we will show those moments when Rwandan genocide survivors and offenders begin to transform their relationships from adversarial to friendly. Students tell us it is powerful seeing compelling moments where reconciliation appears to begin. That experience prompts emotional vulnerabilities which can be the impetus for personal reflection and assessment. With the help of trained experts, this accounting sparks conversations which can begin healing painful emotional wounds that often block the path to reconciliation. Viewers in the United States quickly realize, “If they can do it, so can we.”
Our film will be used to teach students around the world about this promising path to peace to create a new generation of leaders trained in bringing together their fellow citizens.
Lessons For the World
If the grassroots method of peace and reconciliation in Rwanda is as effective as it seems to be, then there is tremendous potential for these ideas to be implemented around the world in places in conflict including the Middle East, Central Asia, and Kashmir. There is relevance also in our hometowns of Montreal, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Boston and across the United States. The possibility for reconciliation in those places is dependent on neighborhoods, both local and regional, just as Rwanda’s future is interconnected with the Congo, Uganda and the Sudan.
Lessons From Rwanda
Learning about Rwanda’s bloody past is an important component to understanding just how difficult their path to reconciliation can be. Hundreds of thousands of people slaughtering their own families, friends, and neighbors is incomprehensible. Seeing survivors somehow find ways to reconcile with those same killers and their families seems impossible.
Rwandan stories resonate in the U.S.
We have already witnessed the power of these compelling stories on students in a Boston area classroom to reflect on their own lives. The students we have spoken with have said that seeing Rwandans ability to reconcile makes them realize their personal troubles seem petty in comparison. Conversations continued after the filmmaker left the class. We will continue to work to broaden our impact, visiting more classes, as we work to complete our film during post-production this fall and winter.
In Kinyarwanda, the word Rwanda translates as “the Universe”. For our mission of spreading peace to succeed, we need to ensure that our part of the universe, planet Earth, remains a healthy place to live. In order to do our part in accomplishing that, the Reconciliation’s Reach team has committed to offsetting our carbon emissions. In fact, we are one of the first documentaries to be filmed in Africa to do this.
What Carbon Offsetting Means
We are partnering with NativeEnergy, the same company that worked with the producers of An Inconvenient Truth, to offset the carbon we create by making the film. Specifically, the flights, the driving, the shipping, and paper products and all those other not terribly environmentally friendly activities we have to do to bring the movie to you.
Where the Money Goes
Your money will help energy entrepreneurs finish renewable energy projects they cannot afford to complete on their own. NativeEnergy is the only organization of its kind offering these kinds of “help build” dollars. By purchasing a share of a project’s long-term offsets, we help NativeEnergy fix a market failure that is preventing the development of many high-quality projects. These innovators are the early adopters of the green revolution and we are happy to support them. Click here to read NativeEnergy’s explanation of how carbon offsets work.