Rwanda flag-raising ceremony to take place in Newark
AMBER TAFARI LARAQUE Special to the AmNews | 10/11/2012, 4:48 p.m.
The Why Do I Exist? - Kuki Ndiho Rwanda Orphans Support Project will present the Rwanda flag-raising ceremony in honor of the United Nations' International Day for Peace, on Oct. 25, in Newark at 4:30 p.m.
The ceremony, taking place at Newark City Hall, will be hosted by Oumou Cherif, Massachusetts Miss Guinea 2011; Patience Noah, Miss Liberia 2012; Wale Idris Ajibad, CEO of African Views; and Dosso Kassimou, chair of the Newark African Commission, and his staff.
A range of politicians, community leaders and UN ambassadors, including Newark Mayor Cory Booker; South Toms River, N.J., Mayor Joseph Champagne; and Dr. Josephine Ojiambo, UN deputy ambassador of Kenya, will speak at the free event.
Rwandan genocide survivor Marie Claudine Mukamabano, founder and CEO of Why Do I Exist, and also the event's coordinator and a speaker, encourages everyone who can to attend the ceremony. "Through the help of the Amsterdam News, I am inviting all Americans, all African descendants and the whole international community to be part of this historical moment. As a survivor of genocide, I believe that it's my duty to promote peace because I understand the cost of peace."
Aside from speakers, the event will also include entertainment such as short film screenings, photo exhibitions, music and dance by Rwandan artists as well as other African artists, American artists, and a reading of "Peace Poem" by Mukamabano.
Mukamabano says her main effort is to promote peace and the message of forgiveness through the event. "Yes, we experienced war, we suffered, we experienced genocide. Yes, we are dealing with the trauma; it is not easy to overcome. I know what it looks like when there's no peace. Raising the flag of Rwanda will be a symbol of healing, peace, resilience, hope and forgiveness," she says.
For more information, visit www.whydoiexist.org.