International Women’s Day
As mothers across our globe grieve for Ukraine I cannot help but reflect back on my time in Rwanda. I want to share a story from my time there with you.
Before I tell you about that, though, I need to tell you that I love words. I have a huge dictionary that belonged to my dad. As a child, every time I wanted to know the meaning of a new word, my dad had me look it up and share with him what I learnt. My dad is no longer here, so please let me share this word with you.
This is a word I learnt when working in Rwanda.
Ubuntu signifies the essence of a human being, the divine spark of goodness that is inherent within each being.
Ubuntu means love, truth, peace, happiness, eternal optimism & inner goodness, and a shared humanity.
I first encountered this beautiful word at the Kigali Genocide Memorial In Rwanda, which educates about and honours the victims of genocide against the Tutsi. Ubumuntu is the Kinyarwandan word for Ubuntu.
Rwanda is one of the most touching examples of human resilience that I have ever encountered.
Ubuntu thrives there now.
The people of Rwanda created a deep and caring peace after the genocide that has inspired me to this day.
I felt safe in Rwanda. I experienced the joy and hope rising from sorrow.
In Rwanda, I finally felt and understood that every human being can overcome whatever holds them back in their life and that every life is meant to be lived in joy.
My work has consistently shown me that it is limiting beliefs that people consciously or unconsciously hold on to, that keep them blocked from their connection to humanity, and lead to the atrocities we are witnessing in the Ukraine today. The parents of one of my oldest and dearest friends escaped the Ukraine in WW2, and now thousands more are having to do the same.
On this International Women’s Day, I pray for peace. Love prevails when we realize we are all connected as one, not separate. I pray that one day, all countries are guided by women like New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern, or men like Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and I am grateful for their leadership.