Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Local Event with International Impact

In a departure from my usual daily diatribe on national issues, I want to tell you about an event of great value that is happening in Springfield this Thursday.

We in Springfield are blessed with the presence of a fine young man in Patrick Mureithi. Patrick is a videographer, a musician/songwriter, and a man of peace who, though now an American citizen, has kept tabs on the pulse of Africa while attending school and working in this country. In the midst of the flood of violence sweeping Rwanda, Patrick spotted an island of calm in a program that brought people from the two rival tribes, Tootsie and Hutu, together in a structured program to talk about their feelings and to try and find some common ground.

He was so struck by the effectiveness of the process involved that he decided he wanted to do a documentary that could be used to spread the program around the country. Immediately, Patrick began work on his project. Patrick is not a wealthy man, and he recognized that the costs would be high. He did as much work on the project as he could here at home while also raising the funds needed to allow him to travel to Rwanda to capture the country and the efforts to reunite it on tape, then came back home to do the rock-hard editing necessary to mold his work into a finished product.

Just last week, he did it. The film is finished, and he will share it with Springfield on Thursday evening at 6:00 in Clara Thompson Hall in a free showing open to all.

Patrick has created a meaningful and valuable contribution to Rwanda’s efforts to heal from the horrible, self-inflicted wounds of its people. Please take the time to stop by Clara Thompson Hall Thursday evening and see this film. I guarantee that you will not only enjoy it, but learn from it and benefit by it. This is a special program presented by a very special young man who deserves our support.

Sad to say, while Patrick was working on his documentary the same kind of violence broke out in his homeland of Kenya. It is so similar to what we are seeing in the Sudan that it all becomes confused in minds so far removed from the actual events. There, two candidates for the presidency were from rival tribes, the Kikuyu and the Luo, and the intensity of their campaign sparked violence between members of those tribes on the streets of the nation. Hopefully his documentary can be seen not only in Rwanda, but in Kenya where Kofi Annan has recently been successful in beginning the healing process there. Perhaps the video will find fertile ground there and enable Patrick to have a strongly meaningful role in bringing peace to his own native land.

I am fortunate enough to be able to call Patrick a friend and so have also been fortunate enough to see some preliminary footage as he was putting this documentary together, so I can tell you honestly that it is stunningly spectacular as well as informative.

Please try to attend. You definitely will not regret having spent the time.

I hope to see you there.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls -

No comments: