Wine & Cheese Gathering and Auction to Benefit Water Filtration in Rwanda
Fri, June 28, 5:30-9pm
Community Organizing Forum
Sat, June 29, 9am-Noon
While on our Rwanda Mission in 2019 to Rwanda, we were able to witness real-life examples of community organizing. Using the PICO (People Involvement in Community Organizing) model, Rwanda has been able to move forward rather quickly. This organization has recently changed their name to Faith In Action.
This model incorporates all members of a community to determine what needs are assessed and helps the members of the community help themselves to achieve a goal. Through this program, Rwandans learn how to assess a goal, research and train themselves on the project needs, work with government officials to get the necessary land, permits, etc. and then how to achieve the goal. It has been a highly successful model and is being taught in many other African countries as well as the Caribbean and Central America to move them forward.
We have the pleasure of having the founder of this program, as well as the Rwandan developer of the training in Madison, speaking at this forum:
- Fr. John Baumann – Founder and Director of Special Projects, International Director, Faith in Action
- Ron Snyder – Faith in Action International Director of Organizing, Faith in Action
- Pastor John Rutsindintwarane – Director of Faith In Action Rwanda and our Brother in Christ
They will take us on a journey of the background of the model as well as a practical example of how it works in real life and how to incorporate into your organizing skills.
Anyone interested in Community Organizing whether it be a large project or a localized event should attend this event. The results of this model are nothing short of remarkable.
Over 10 years, Faith in Action Rwanda leaders have leveraged $2 million in public improvements and services for 120,000 people. Projects include health clinics, water, electricity, three schools, a welding school, community center, new homes, a roofing tile business, reforestation and road construction.
History in Rwanda
Faith in Action Rwanda was formed by Pastor John Rutsindintwarane, a native Rwandan, who began organizing in Rwanda in 2006 after a one-year internship with the US Faith in Action affiliate Oakland Community Organizations.
For Pastor John, the devastating effects of the 1994 genocide and the overwhelming barriers faced by the survivors fueled his search for tools to rebuild his country, combining faith with action, and building from the ground up.
Faith in Action Rwanda was born in a small, all-but-forgotten part of southeast Rwanda called Mumeya, a stone’s throw from the Tanzanian border. Pastor John was invited to work in this village after he held a series of introductory workshops of the Faith in Action community-building/leadership development model.
He told Mumeya residents that he had no money to offer, but he was willing to give them his brain and his heart. Mumeya villagers from five different congregations began leadership training in a space that was open to everyone, a grassy area under a big tree.
Soon, community leaders began holding one-to-one conversations to identify the major needs in the community. After hundreds of these conversations took place, Mumeya residents decided that a health center was their top priority. They organized their own labor and resources, gained supplies and medical staff from public officials, and in 2009 after completion of three rooms, they opened their first fully functioning health center. Since then, Mumeyans have formed partnerships with local and national government to secure more than $6 million in improvement and services, including access to water and electricity, new roads, and two new public schools.
This forum is free, but a free will offering will be accepted.
For more information contact Aileen Kacvinsky at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734.657.4606.