About this project
THE POWER OF $1
Thank you for visiting my Kickstarter page. Please take 3 and a half minutes to watch the above promo video for my documentary. If you find it worthy, yet cannot commit financially to it, I ask that you DONATE $1 TO THE PROJECT. Just $1. After donating, forward the information to your friends, asking that they give $1 and forward it along. This is as much my project as it is yours, and I CANNOT DO THIS WITHOUT YOUR HELP. Thank you, and PEACE.
WHAT I AM TRYING TO DO
In November and December of last year, I spent time in Kibera, Kenya's largest slum and the 2nd largest slum in Africa, interviewing victims and perpetrators of the country's 2007/8 Post-Election Violence that left more than 1,200 dead and 500,000 displaced from their homes. I am trying to raise funds to travel to Kenya in May of this year to film a gathering of 10 victims and 10 perpetrators (including the people I interviewed) of the violence. It has been described as the darkest chapter in Kenya's history, and was so devastating that Genocide Watch, the international organization that "exists to predict, prevent, stop, and punish genocide and other forms of mass murder," classified Kenya as being in Stage 6, the Preparation stage.
I will edit the footage I gather in May into the first version of "Until Hope is Found," and I plan on returning to Kenya in October of this year to show the film extensively throughout the country. This could start conversations about the futility of repeated cycles of violence and the need to address unresolved psychological trauma which, I believe, remains the greatest malady in Africa.
Your support will make my trip in May possible.
For questions about who were the victims and who were the perpetrators, please look at the FAQ section below.
WHAT INSPIRED THIS PROJECT?
In 2007 I had the opportunity to travel to Rwanda to film a gathering of 10 survivors and 10 perpetrators of the 1994 genocide in which up to 1 million people were killed in 100 days. The resulting film, ICYIZERE:hope, is a project that has changed my life – and continues to change my life – in many ways. It left me with 3 conclusions:
1) The greatest malady in Africa is unresolved psychological trauma
2) True forgiveness (which can lead to reconciliation) is possible when different sides of a conflict are brought together in a safe environment, encouraged to ventilate their feelings, acknowledge their wounds and the wounds of the "other," and given the opportunity to make amends, and
3) By working towards one's own healing, we become more complete human beings. We become ambassadors for peace with our friends, within our families and within our communities.
"ICYIZERE (ee-cheez-eh-reh): hope" has taught me that every single one of us need to realize our common humanity by emphasizing our common experience. It has also strengthened my belief that just as media can and has been used to divide and destroy, so can it be used to unite and to heal.
I would like to make a film that speaks to Kenya's situation, that shows that it is in fact possible to resolve the issues that the country is facing in a peaceful manner, that gives hope to many. This has everything to do with addressing unresolved psychological trauma. Without doing so, then it is almost guaranteed that there will be repeated cycles of violence. Such a message, shared through the medium of film, can have a great impact.
UNTIL HOPE IS FOUND
I have had the opportunity to screen ICYIZERE at various venues, including the Nairobi Peace Initiative, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the Great Lakes Parliamentary Forum on Peace, the Center for Rights Education and Awareness, and the Kenya Cohesion and Integration Commission. Many in Kenya who watched the documentary have mentioned that what happened after the 2007 elections was very similar to what happened in Rwanda in 1994. I sincerely believe that it is possible for us to learn from the mistakes of our neighbors, and I would like in my small way to contribute towards the various initiatives to prevent political and ethnic violence that many believe is going to be on an even larger scale than the violence of 2007/8. The presidential elections will be held on March 4th, 2013.
WHY I NEED YOU TO GET INVOLVED
This is as much my story as it is yours. The principles within this film are those that any human being can relate to. Your contributions will help make my trip possible, and will be deeply appreciated. I have come to see that unresolved psychological trauma is not just the greatest malady in Africa but in the world. The greatest malady in my life and in the life of every human being are the un-addressed issues that keep us from living up to our full potential. This is a truth that I share everywhere I am fortunate enough to speak, and it is the message that I will share in Kenya as well.
Two years ago I had the honor of meeting General Roméo Dallaire, Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda in 1994. His words inspire me to this day: "In the future, we will rejoice not because we ended a conflict, but because we prevented one."
The need for your support cannot be over-emphasized. I cannot do this without your help.
Thanks so much, and many continued blessings.
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