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Ending the Revolving Doors of Crime and Violence, Forever.

Rwanda: a specific situation

Rwanda hit the international news headlines when, from April till July 1994, over 1.000.000 people, men, women and children, were killed in a genocide war.

Hotel Rwanda, a story of genocideWars have always provided fertile ground for the emergence of heroes and supreme acts of heroism by ordinary people.  Rwanda was no exception.  Amidst the violence and chaos that swept the country, one of the many heroes to emerge was Paul Rusesabagina, an ordinary man who, out of love and compassion, managed to save the lives of 1268 people.

The genocide deeply shocked the world. An abundance of books, studies and papers were written on it. But it is in the country itself that the shock is still most tangible: it is seen in the abundant volunteer organisations taking responsibility for the war victims - women, orphans and the maimed - it is heard in the radio programs and songs, it is heard when talking to Rwandans about it, it is felt the moment one walks through a prison door.

 

The Rwandan population and its government have a strong purpose to get the country back into a state of peace and prosperity, and through hard work, strict policies and joined efforts, they are well on their way to achieve that result.

Witness the new government mandate that 39% of representatives must be women, the highest level of female representation in the world. Corruption has nearly disappeared. There is a building boom going on throughout Rwanda, and though understandably guarded, the people are open, friendly and welcoming, even though there is scarcely a soul who was not touched directly by the genocide. Equally startling is that there doesn't appear to be a scrap of litter anywhere in the country - old plastic bags do not collect like snow drifts in Rwanda!

Meanwhile, a solution must also be found for the prison population. By half 2008, about 60.000 inmates are still incarcerated in one of the 14 prisons of the country.

In a country that is striving to regain its pride and stability, ex-prisoners rejoining that society should do so as fully rehabilitated individuals, able to be responsible and contributing members of their community. And this, precisely, is what Criminon aims to achieve.