Mamajojo's Muse

"Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen: To loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter- when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say; here am I.
If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
Isaiah 58: 6-11

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Talent Search! Videographer needed

From: Kristen Swanson
To: Film or production students interested in a life-changing project

Seeking a Videographer for our Service Trip to Rwanda

The Institute for Women’s Excellence (IWE) is a secondary school that serves girls orphaned by genocide and AIDS in Rwanda. The school is a project of ALARM, African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries, an African peace and reconciliation group based in Rwanda and doing outstanding work in Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Sudan, and Uganda. (See for more information on the organization).

In 2008, two seventh graders in Bucks County, PA, decided to write a book about the girls of IWE in order to raise money for a much needed dormitory. They have raised over $9,000 so far with the book, Inzozi, Dreams of the Future. The dorm has been completed, and they are continuing to raise funds for equipment and scholarships for individual girls. This summer I will go with the girls and a few other students and parents to the school in Rwanda to interview the girls, collect more detailed interviews, and revise the book, with the goal of publication. (So far they have self-published at Staples).

One former student, now a talented film major, has had to withdraw from the trip, and at first I just thought that I would take home videos of our trip and settle for that. But now I have received a request from ALARM for good quality film of their Rwandese staff, all of whom were affected directly and dramatically by the genocide, and have powerful stories to tell. I know I am not up to producing quality work that is worthy of their courage and commitment to making peace under horrific circumstances, and so I am looking for a creative film student that is able to do this project with us, for ALARM.

The cost of the trip is about $2500-3000 for a week in Rwanda. Conditions will be very basic, but as safe as any tourist travel can be. Crime in Rwanda is low, and the country is committed to maintaining peace and never again allowing genocide to occur. I have ten years of experience living and traveling in Africa, and will do my best, with the ALARM staff, to steer you in safe places. What will be in the most danger are your assumptions about Africa, the limits of human forgiveness, and perhaps your whole outlook on life. After our project, I am going to Tanzania with the group, for a few days in a game park, and then to explore examples of international business development, education, and health care, since my students are interested in those careers. You are welcome to come along to the game park and to see places like hospitals, schools, and small businesses, but the cost will add up fast once you get on the tourist circuit! I will be happy to estimate those costs for you if you are interested.

If you are interested, contact me at the following:

Kristen Swanson
98 Old Bethlehem Road
Quakertown, PA 18951