2013 Human Rights Youth Delegation to Rwanda 1 Favorite 



Jul 31 2013


Kigali, Rwanda

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing."

Albert Einstein

Let us do something to end human rights abuses and bring peace to all! So much of the positive change that has happened in the world has been because of funding from people like you, people with hearts to that ache to reduce the suffering in the world and who are willing to sacrifice their money for a better future for all peoples of the world. Together we can work towards world peace through programs like Global Youth Connect which sends young people like me, someone who has dedicated her life, education and career to helping others, to work with her Rwandan peers, who have lived through a horrible history of genocide, to end global human rights abuses and promote a future of healing and peace. At first glance, the world's problems seem too big, too vast, too unstoppable for just one delegation to change but just as Margaret Mead said "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has" I was born with a drive to spend my life and energy helping other people and trying to make the world a safer and better place, together, you and I can change the world! If we can't, who can??

Why should I go to Rwanda??

My name is Danielle, which literally means in Hebrew "will be judged by god" which I was unaware of until relatively recently. Regardless of yours or my religious ideology, if my name is a prophecy or sheds any light at all on what I am supposed to do with my life, I hope that I will be judged as trying the hardest and doing the most I could so people could suffer less. I hope that at my last breath I can judge my life for myself and find that I fought with all my heart and soul for a world peace that left not one human being excluded and that I never backed down or gave up, that I never sought wealth but instead sought peace. Today, a couple years after I was named at birth, I find myself as a 24 year old Social Work (with an emphasis in Native American and Rural populations) graduate student at Humboldt State University. I currently serve my local community as a volunteer sexual assault crisis counselor and I work 40 hours a week helping patients admit into intensive Eating Disorder Treatment. Through working internationally in Rwanda I hope to further my dream of spending my life working domestically and international alleviating the causes of global poverty and conflict and working towards protecting human rights.

(For some background, here are two pictures from when I was 16 years old volunteering at FundaNinos Orphanage in Guatemala. That volunteer trip was the biggest purchase I have ever made and it revolutionized my idea of the limits of love, that simply there are NO LIMITS to the amount of people who can enter your heart forever. *I am the adult human in the photos, yep I did have bright red hair!*)

So far I have spent my life trying to face the suffering of the world and do something about it. With your contribution to this cause, I will be able to bring the voice of peace and friendship from the US to Rwanda. Through my participation in the delegation, I will be able to speak for my generation in the US who believe in peace, human rights and preventing global atrocities like what happened in Rwanda in 1994 (genocide which killed over 800,000 in only 100 days).

Why I want to go to Rwanda in August 2013:

As you can probably tell already, I was born an extremely sensitive person, the suffering of the world seemed so pervasive and unfair that I grew up feeling that because I was so emotionally affected by suffering that I was brought to the earth to lessen it worldwide. As I grew up I learned that while I can't "save" everyone, I can at least help some people and the more I educate myself and collaborate with others, the more helpful I can become. I saved up when I was 16 and volunteered abroad in an orphanage in Guatemala (See photo above with all the little kids and to check out the orphanage visit fundaninos.net) and later on I extended my stay in India after my semester abroad as a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholar studying women's issues in India and volunteered for a very short period in a HIV orphanage just outside of the city of Bangalore/Bengaluru.

I fell in love with the children there and I wanted to spend the rest of my life there in the HIV orphanage, dancing and playing (to see their website go to Snehacarehome.org) But deep down I knew I had to continue my education in the US to really learn how to effectively work in international human rights and advocacy. The nature I was born with and these experiences have been what has prompted me today to ask for your help to help me fly half way across the world, to a small country in Africa to work with people my age there to see if we can shed some light on how to prevent the most awful atrocities that can happen to human beings by other human beings, genocide. As a person from Jewish heritage, I understand how I could have easily been a victim of genocide had I been born just 50 before I was or had I been born in Kigali, Rwanda instead of San Francisco in February 1989, I may not be here writing at this computer today. I know I have had the rare privilege to receive an education and graduate from college and I want to use my education for good. I want to use the abilities I have had the privilege to attain, to learn how humans are capable of such atrocities such as genocide and war and to learn alongside my Rwandan peers about how we can prevent them as a global community working together. I believe the age of separation is over and we must all connect internationally so we can work together to bring about the world peace I know we all deeply want. I have an overwhelming passion to learn about these issues and I have watched hours upon hours of almost every single documentary about human rights, the environment, the world governments, and NGOs trying to figure out how I could make the most impact in this life I have been given. The conclusion I have encountered that has lodged itself deep in my heart is that we must all connect with people around the world and look for a solution together. And this scenario includes you, the person reading this campaign today as much as it includes the President of the United States!!

Funding me will be funding the revolutionary idea that youth in the US and youth in Rwanda can work together in one room, in a constant dialogue, moving towards preventing genocide and abuses of human rights worldwide. 100% of funds donated will go towards Global Youth Connect and the cost of my participation ($2300 for the program tuition, $1900-$2000 for plane ticket SFO - Kigali), Global Youth Connect is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization, FEDERAL EIN # 52-1655875. Global Youth Connect is an amazing NGO that works with connecting youth from the US with youth in post-conflict/post-genocide countries like Rwanda, Cambodia, Sarajevo, and more. This is the type of work that will bring world peace and world unity that is desperately needed for progress in the current generations of youth. Please see their website at Globalyouthconnect.org and see the information on the Rwanda youth delegation for 2013 which is highlighted on their website.

**If you would like to donate your frequent flier miles (which would be AMAZING!!), please contact me at Danielleaubin@care2.com**

Any and all help is so appreciated, you are truly making my dreams of working in International Human Rights Activism a reality!

What Is Needed And Why:

Through this Human Rights Delegation with Global Youth Connect, I will be able to work side by side with 14 youth (ages 18-35) who grew up in Rwanda and are interested in human rights activism in their home country. The cost of the program is $2300 for 3 weeks (this cost includes the cost of Rwandan participant's participation fees as well) and the plane ticket from SFO to Kigali, Rwanda is $1900. I hope to raise $4300 which would cover the majority of these costs and any extra funds over $4300 will be donated in the name of all my donors COPORWA which is an NGO in Rwanda. The Community of Potters of Rwanda (COPORWA) is a non-profit organization working for the marginalized community of Potters, formerly known as the Batwa indigenous people of Rwanda. They work for the promotion and protection of the rights of people and help to generate sufficient income for the often very poor Potter people. Please visit their website at coporwa.com.

Program Tuition Breakdown (from Globalyouthconnect.org)

45% Staff support and project management in U.S. and Rwanda, including U.S.-based and Rwandan staff

35% Hotel and project travel expenses

10% Direct costs of training and service projects (excluding travel and hotel). The participation costs of the Rwandan participants are included in the program fee.

10% GYC administrative costs

Please see my campaign at http://igg.me/at/humanrightsrwanda/x/2571660

Why Should I Go Now?

Many times it is easier to think that because the pressing issues in the world are so well known, there are many people out there fixing them. Unfortunately after spending every cent I have ever earned traveling the world (and by earning a Gilman Scholarship which is for very low-come students), I have seen that the problems in the world are so large and mismanaged that there is a lot of room for activism, volunteerism and international collaboration. So many people live in squalor and degradation, many people in the global south don’t have clean drinking water or a secure income. My purpose and life’s goal is to educate myself enough to be able to enact change in the global scale to alleviate poverty and ensure that all people enjoy the human rights as outlined by the Declaration of Human Rights.

Participating in this Human Rights Delegation to Rwanda will give me the ability to volunteer with Rwandan NGOs, listen to politicians in the area and work with my Rwandan peers in understanding how to prevent human rights abuses now and forever more. I will be able to use my cliinical skills as a Suicide Prevention Hotline Operator, a California State Certified Sexual Assault Counselor and more to work with people and hear their stories so the healing process of previous human rights abuses. My unique perspective from my background and experience will allow me to offer something different to the international dialogue on human rights. Global Youth Connect is a by youth for youth organization, the youth are the future and the connection between African youth and American youth will encourage long term peace between the nations and collaboration on the difficult global human issues that arise. This delegation will allow me to carry the voices of so many of my peers in the US who want to speak out in the international community against human rights abuses and work with others towards global human rights but who will not have the opportunity to go abroad and do it.

As I have matured as a human being and been able to really give some thought to what it means to come from a privileged country, I have realized that I need to do a whole lot more listening to the wisdom of my peers in the developing world. Before I can truly help the global community tackle issues like global poverty and war, I must learn to see the world through the eyes of my sisters and brothers in the global south and in post-conflict/post-genocide countries. I need to learn how to work with people who are experts about their own countries and lives to truly be able to enact real sustainable change and growth through my work abroad. There is a lot to learn from conversing with my sisters and brothers in countries like Rwanda that have seen such great suffering and through our work together during this 3 week intensive work we can move towards real solutions for equal human rights for all.
Other Ways You Can Help

I know that not everyone is fortunate enough to have extra money they can give to causes they are passionate about. Just educating yourself on the issues of genocide, human rights and the global disparities between the global south and north is enacting a huge shift in consciousness. What we think becomes what we do and what we do becomes who we are (yes, I did steal this quote from Buddha!). Changing our thinking and educating us on these issues is as good as giving money to the cause itself ~ educating ourselves is a huge part of the solution.

And if anyone ever thinks one person cannot make a difference, please read this story and thank you so much for all your support:

A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.

She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”

The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied,

“Well, I made a difference to that one!”

- from the Star Thrower by Loren C. Eiseley

From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for spending your precious time reading my campaign for funding my work in Rwanda. I feel honored to be able to have the opportunity to share with you what is truly in my heart and in my dreams. I hope to use my time in Rwanda to understand the viewpoint of my Rwandan peers and grow personally and professionally so I can continue to work in my local and international community towards peace for all. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Murakoze cyane (Thank you very much in Kinyarwanda)



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