Sticks and stones

“Sure you know what I mean…” The call to complicity is one we hear all the time. It’s the stock response from anyone called out on discrimination, and it’s all too easy to just nod along and mumble “yeah, I do”. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is a [...]

We didn't mean to write about the genocide

... But we did. It's in the air you breathe in Rwanda, in the food you eat and in the way people look at you, or don't. It's unavoidable, inescapable and it would be a fallacy and a betrayal to go there and ignore it. Everything is done and said in the context of the genocide, [...]

Rwanda's women working together (or, everyone's got a Bono story)

Women's empowerment in Rwanda is crossing the boundaries of ethnicity, class, education, geography and even wellness. Yesterday, we met Yvonne Mutakwasuku, the mayor of a district called Muhanga just west of Kigali. A softly spoken Francophone, Yvonne has worked as a health and social worker with local authorities, NGOs and women's groups for her entire career, [...]

Getting to grips with Rwanda's complex gender quotas

Our Western images of Africa are of colourful women with babies on their backs, not business suit-clad women with laptops. They're of starving children, not well-fed men about town sipping lattes in indigenous coffee chains that bear striking resemblances to Costa or Starbucks, but with better food. This is Kigali. We're here to research the success [...]

Kigali – first impressions

Tree lined boulevards, undulating green hills dotted with red roofed buildings and the occasional steel and glass of modernity... Kigali is not what most of us would expect from an African capital. The main roads are in better shape than most of those in Ireland; there is very little litter; traffic is busy but not crazy; [...]

Rwanda

Rwanda is the most densely populated country in Africa AND has very fertile soil. This is how that works out. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) At the moment I am busy making plans for a trip to Rwanda in February. I received funding from Irish Aid's Simon Cumbers Media Fund last summer for a project on [...]