June 6, 2020
Dear Friends of Maranyundo,
We want to thank you for the outpouring of support for those in the Maranyundo community experiencing hardship during the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite school closures across Rwanda, your ongoing support enables teachers to continue to be paid, provides devices and Internet access for MGS students to continue learning and connecting with teachers and friends, provides food and basic needs to families unable to work, and sends a message of solidarity and hope.
We would also like to send an emphatic message of solidarity and hope to the thousands of protesters marching across the US sparked by the murder of George Floyd. In Martin Luther King’s words, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” To be silent is to be complicit. We are angry. We are angry because we know that George Floyd’s murder is just one manifestation of pervasive racial injustices in a system that privileges some of us while discriminating against, murdering, and holding down others. To the Maranyundo Girls School alumnae studying here in the US, and to others in the broader Maranyundo community who may be experiencing the effects of systemic and overt racism–we can and will be better than this! We are here for you.
In these tumultuous times, sometimes it is all I can do to not feel completely overwhelmed and discouraged. But then I think about the resilience and determination of Rwanda after the Genocide Against the Tutsis. That resilience and determination is personified in so many individuals, including Aloisea Inyumba, who faced
seemingly insurmountable challenges in seeking justice and reconciliation, in rebuilding a nation, and in caring for young people so they would have a better life. For Aloisea, education for young people, particularly girls, was paramount in building a strong, peaceful and just society. Her inspiration and perseverance led to the creation of the Maranyundo Girls School. With so many young people leading the protests across the US today, Aloisea’s message reverberates loudly, and inspires us to continue investing in our world’s young people, and follow their lead in building a strong, peaceful and just society.
Kaia Miller Goldstein
Chair of the Maranyundo Initiative