GYC Village

blog posts from GYC's participants, alumni, & staff

Rwanda: A Country of Love

By: Luca Madden, Australia

Luca (right) dancing with Chantal on the first day of the program

Luca (right) dancing with Chantal on the first day of the program

Sitting on the plane from Sydney to Kigali, I was ridiculously excited to meet the international participants of the GYC Rwanda program. I knew they came from England, the US, Canada, China and Bosnia-Hertzegovina and they did not disappoint:

But for how excited I was to meet the international participates, I was 1000x more excited to meet the Rwandan participants.

After all, I spent 35 hours on a plane to learn about their country, and I was ready to stop reading about Rwanda, but actually start connecting with young human rights leaders in the country that I’d read so much about.

What I didn’t expect was that I would be in tears within 10 minutes of meeting them. (Awkward). But after we exchanged pleasantries, one of the Rwandan participants, Laurentine, performed a poem. And it moved me to the point where I knew that these 3 weeks in Rwanda were going to change my life.


Which kind of the time?

How can we express our happiness?

Who can convince me of the reality of the moment?

Openly, no on can guess

Because that is beyond me!

May I sing for you?

Unfortunately, I am not a singer

May I dance or drum for you?

No, I embellish you our best

Because sincerely speaking, you are the first one!

Let me say your kindness!

How far do you come from?

You are incredible in love

Because you come to build our new world

Full of human rights

Why has Rwanda been chosen?

Simply, because it is a country of love

Plenty of peace and a thousand hills

Nice to see, nice to live and feeling comfortable

Laurentine (left) standing with Logan during the introductions

Laurentine (left) standing with Logan during the introductions

I exactly swear, all of the above are not lies

What we promise you our first

It is to be one person with one heart

Fighting for human rights

Remaining our hands in pockets

To build our new world as soon as possible

From now on, we will speak in human rights

We will stand in human rights

We will walk in human rights

We will eat in human rights

All things will be done in human rights

We love you.

We beautify what you do

We go to work together

Forever and ever

This is someone’s small voice

Who supports guests

Sing as son of sun with

The same sciences as artists

Who asks and answers suddenly

With the same speech as philosophers

– Uzuyisenga Laurentine

I cried because I knew I’d truly encountered a country of love, and I couldn’t wait to discover more.  — Luca


5 comments on “Rwanda: A Country of Love

  1. Anonymous
    August 23, 2013

    Even now my eyes are full of tears! time flies so fast!

  2. odilon
    August 23, 2013

    True story

  3. juliet
    August 23, 2013

    Time flies so fast, i cannot believe that you have all gone back to your countries. Miss you all. always remember what we learnt and put it into practice!

    • Anonymous
      September 1, 2013

      We love you Juilet!

      -Danielle + Everyone

  4. uzayisenga laurentine
    September 21, 2013

    I can’t dig it please!!!!!!!!!!!Luca,thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!! Will we meet again?
    I hope all GYC’s members have fallen in love!!!!!!!!!Haaahahahaaaa

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This entry was posted on August 23, 2013 by in Human Rights, Rwanda, Rwanda Program Posts, Volunteering.

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