Failing is not Falling Down: Rwanda Walks in Her Shoes
On a bright and sunny day, CARE Rwanda held its first “Walk In Her Shoes” awareness creation and fundraising event to raise money to support projects that empower women and girls across the country. On Friday March 10, which was purposely planned two days after International Women’s Day, CARE Rwanda staff, project participants, partners, and community allies came together for an exciting and jam-packed day of activities at the national Amahoro Stadium parking ground.
Arriving mid-morning, guests were able to explore the exhibition stands of CARE partners, stakeholders, and project participants, many of whom are entrepreneurs and sold items ranging from sweet honey to kitenge-crafted handbags and clothing pieces. After a welcome speech from Country Director Bena Musembi, hundreds of guests, including top government officials and public figures such as Miss Rwanda, a popular comedian, and artists, proceeded to walk in solidarity with the women and girls in rural Rwanda who have to walk miles to meet their basic needs, such as fetching water and collecting firewood. Led by a caravan of 50 moto drivers proudly displayed “Walk In Her Shoes” t-shirts and flyers with full security by national police, event participants walked for approximately 45 minutes through Kigali City streets – many while carrying large buckets and jericans of water atop their heads - while experiencing a small glimpse of what daily life entails for women and girls worldwide.
After the walk, the program continued with speeches from CARE Rwanda project participants, song and dance performances from local artists, and a speech from the recently-crowned Miss Rwanda 2017 Elsa Iradukunda, who gave the crowd a powerful message about resiliency.
“Failing is not falling down. Failing is falling down and refusing to get back up,”
she shared in her remarks.
Similarly-moving messages were shared by a representative from the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, district officials, and individuals who have been transformed from livelihoods marked by hardship and gender-based violence to success and happiness today. Afterwards, a special ceremony was held wherein five vulnerable women were gifted with mutuelle de sante, Rwandan health insurance, and hygienic materials.
The busy day ended with a performance by local music artist Ciney, who sparked laughter and dance among the gathered crowd. As the day drew to a close, CARE Rwanda proudly surpassed its fundraising goal of US$1,000 and collected US$1,287 to further its work for poverty alleviation for women and girls through its Vulnerable Women Program and Orphans and other Vulnerable Children program.
To learn more about CARE Rwanda’s events, follow @CARERwanda on Facebook and @CAREinRwanda on Twitter; and sign-up to join the CARE Rwanda quarterly newsletter mailing list: https://tinyurl.com/carerwandanewsletter.