Legacy Graduate Stands for Rwandan Children
WorldLegacy graduate Sarah Hipp is the Director of International Programs at Mizero Children of Rwanda Asheville, North Carolina Area. Sarah did the entire WorldLegacy Journey culminating in the NC111. In 2007 Sarah was a volunteer with the Mizero Children’s mission. The goal of the mission is to raise money for the children in the group and other orphans to build a combined school and orphanage in Rwanda. “There is a huge need for it. Some of them are homeless, others live with relatives,” Hipp said of the group. “Some of their parents died of HIV/AIDS, which is closely linked because so many women were raped during the genocide and contracted AIDS.” The painful facts of the nation’s 1994 genocide dimmed when the Mizero Children leapt onto the stage, singing of hope and peace and reconciliation. The girls danced with coiled baskets balanced on their heads, and the boys danced with bell-anklets that rang with each stomp. The children wore headbands, fringe and translucent wrap skirts. The performers were between the ages of 12 and 16, Hipp said.
WorldLegacy graduate Sarah Hipp, a graduate of WorldLegacy’s NC111 Leadership program, has been standing for the people of Rwanda. She came to WorldLegacy with a vision. She has created herself to be effective in following her vision and taking actions consistent with her vision.
In this set of photos, Sarah has gone to meet Denis, the drum maker of Rwanda. Denis is one of the best drum makers in Rwanda and comes from a long line of drum makers for the King of Rwanda. His great-grand father, grandfather and his father all made drums for the King! Now Denis makes drums for the National Dance Troupe that performs for the President!
“Over the last year I have made several trips out to his village in the South to learn about the drums and about his family! I have learned much but most importantly I have learned about the Umuvumu trees! They are the best trees for drums because they are the hardest wood however there are not very many left in Rwanda!
I asked Denis if we could plant some for his grand sons! He said yes! So we planted six trees on his land and I took four more to plant on a friend’s land! All you do is cut of a branch and make a point and put it in the ground! It is an amazing tree with should beauty! It is known for peace and protection and the tradition is that one tree is planted for each family member on their land.”
WorldLegacy Graduate Brings Cultural Center to Rwanda
I am the Rwandan Operations Manager for the Intore Music and Cultural Center in Kigali, Rwanda. This program was started in Dec. 2006 with a team of 4 people (including me) from LEAF International. The goal was to start a music program with a group of orphan children from the Genocide, to bring hope and healing by giving them an outlet of expression. Through a Rwandan Mentor we were able to teach the 20 boys the traditional music, drumming and dance of Rwanda. These boys have been living on the street in a dirt parking lot for 10-15 years! They have experienced much trauma and rejection from their community, family and friends. Last year after one of the boys was shot on the street. We were able to secure housing for the boys through a generous family in the US. We realized at that point that more was needed for these boys to help them become leaders in their community and to help them see hope and possibility in their lives. As a result LEAF International partnered with Playing For Change to be able to create a community center for the Arts in Rwanda. This Intore Music and Cultural Center will be the first of it’s kind in Rwanda. Currently there are no galleries for Art, performance halls, or cultural centers in Rwanda. The creation of this center will allow Rwandans to have a place to express themselves through music and art while also being a place for everyone to learn about Rwanda’s diverse Art culture! At the same time it will create possibility and suitability for the 20 boys we have been working with over the last 4 years. I have been on the ground in Rwanda for about a month now for the scouting trip to find potential partners and land and/or buildings for the center to come to life. In just the few short weeks that I have been here I have had mayors offer land for the project, met with many partners and had the opportunity to film a documentary of the project! Also through our partner with Playing For Change we had the privilege of teaching the boys the lyrics to John Lennon’s song Imagine, (which PFC bought the rights to) and have it recorded! At the same time that these amazing things have been happening, Rwanda has also gone through an election and I was very close to a grenade attack that killed 8 people. It has been amazing to boldly walk the streets in a land where I don’t speak the native language and know that 100% is possible 100% of the time. I have full confidence that this center will be more than I could ever image! I am Sarah Hipp NC111 Legacy Leadership Graduate, I completed the coaching and personal effectiveness curriculum at WorldLegacy in Morrisville, NC. I am an extreme giver We are sitting in the spot where Jean Paul one of the boys was shot and killed by the police last year. It was powerful to hear the story told while sitting on the hard, dusty ground where the boys lived for so long.