blog posts from GYC's participants, alumni, & staff
By: Luca Madden, Australia
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.
LAURENTINE’s POEM — PUBLISHED HERE WITH HER PERMISSION / Hug!
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
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