Day 1: The Start of a Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

Hello world! Welcome to my blog, which will detail my adventures working for Aegis Trust in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. Aegis Trust is an organization based out of the U.K., working to “prevent genocide and mass atrocities worldwide” through community education, historical preservation, and survivor support. Having experienced its own genocide twenty-four years ago, Rwanda became a valuable location for Aegis to begin its work. Through the experiences and knowledge of Rwandans, great work, such as in the success of the Kigali Genocide Memorial, has been accomplished by Aegis Trust Rwanda.

Having only been in Kigali twenty-four hours, it’s an understatement to say I’m still adjusting to life here. Pushing aside jetlag to enjoy beginning the exploration of my home for the next eight weeks, I am more than excited to work for Aegis Trust Rwanda’s Research, Policy & Higher Education Department (RPHE) as their Research and Impact Intern. The office of Aegis I am working out of is run entirely by local women, located in Kigali’s downtown. I had the opportunity to see my work space, as well as meet my co-workers and mentors this afternoon to get a taste of my first full work day on May 28th. I am certain this experience will be one of a lifetime, learning first hand from Rwandans how education, acknowledgment of the past, and community support can begin to heal nations affected by genocides and mass atrocities.

I am so thankful I am able to pursue this dream opportunity through the generosity of the Dickinson Internship Grant Program, allowing me to take what I’ve learned in classes such as Human Rights (POSC 258), and add the insights and wisdoms of affected peoples to enhance my understanding of the successes and failures of international human rights community. I can’t wait to continue this amazing adventure!

Eternal Flame of the Kigali Genocide Memorial, a symbol of Aegis to honor victims and survivors by keeping their memory alive.
One of the many mass graves located at the memorial, serving as a peaceful and honored resting place for victims.

I will be posting about my experience at least once a week, so be sure to tune in every Friday for an update. In the meantime, feel free to browse this digital archive of my adventures in Rwanda: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.977445762432130.1073741847.100005001451639&type=1&l=8bd8ac20eb