Rotary forum speakers address Rwandan hope

Friday event gives taste of life and challenges in former war-torn African nation

Oak Bay resident John Jordan poses in a makeshift shelter similar to those lived in by Rwandan widows helped by Rotary Club members.

Oak Bay resident John Jordan poses in a makeshift shelter similar to those lived in by Rwandan widows helped by Rotary Club members.

Three presenters with first-hand knowledge of the challenges faced by Rwandan citizens will speak at a forum in Oak Bay on Oct. 14.

The Oak Bay Rotary Club is hosting the event, called Rwanda Today: Hope after Tragedy, at the Monterey Recreation Centre.

Speakers include retired major Philip Lancaster, a military assistant to retired lieutenant-general Roméo Dallaire during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, and John Nsabimana, a University of Victoria grad and genocide survivor.

Also speaking will be Rotarian John Jordan, who has helped create sustainable living for hundreds of Rwandan widows and orphans. A large part of the work Rotary does in Rwanda is to rebuild widows’ dilapidated houses.

To help illustrate that point, a mock house similar to those in Rwanda will be constructed on site, so visitors can get a better sense of the work Rotary is doing.

African drumming, music and a sampling of Rwandan food will start the evening off at 6:15 p.m., followed by the forum, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Tickets are $15 and are available at Global Village in Market Square and Ten Thousand Villages stores at 1976 Oak Bay Ave. and in Broadmead Shopping Centre.

editor@oakbaynews.com