Sunday, September 04, 2005
"After an exceptionally bumpy detour to see a bee-keeping project run by the Dian Fossey center, it was off to Gisenyi to meet with the AVEGA women. This group is part of the national association but runs its center independently. These women are of all ages and are in much worse financial condition than those at the other AVEGA locations - but their center is large and clean. These women had been waiting for us since that morning (we arrived at ) and were very patient listening to how the project would work and what it consisted of. This chosen group of knitters had not any luck in forming a cooperative but was interested in learning the process of working together.
It is difficult to describe the feeling that the expressions of appreciation bring, but the most emotional time for me is when the groups visually demonstrate their success by showing sweaters, blankets and baby items they’ve made. This happened at the Kiziba refugee camp in January, 2004. To this day it is difficult to describe the scene of sweaters hanging around the women’s center without choking up. The second emotional experience comes from learning of the group’s success in making their first sale. That feeling will be shared with all the Bpeace members on the team
My reflections on the day underscored the impact a project that to many in the US (including myself) may seem so small but one that has and will continue to impact the lives of so many who have so little. I cannot take credit for the success of the project, as it is the women themselves who make it happen. This is their project and only they can make it a success. This rising tide will float many boats."