There are certain places where you can only dream of going, and certain experiences that will capture your memory and your heart forever. A couple of weeks ago, our team at Sandy Puc' Photography had one of those experiences.
Our team had the chance to travel to Rwanda to produce a video for Hope Haven Rwanda. This charity is incredible and does a variety of work for the country. One of their platforms is to provide education for children starting at age 3, up until 8-9 years old. This school is funded through American donations, as well as Rwandans themselves. If a Rwandan family cannot afford to send their child to school, the family has the opportunity to work with the school (doing groundwork, etc.) to pay for the education for their children.
While this may seem not very "charitable"- we learned it is part of their culture. In Rwanda, they do not accept freebies or handouts. They believe in working towards what they want in life, and earning what they get. They want to be an active part and reason for their children's education, so they work with the charity to provide financial support for their child's education. Dignity was the word that we all will remember from this trip and unlike many other countries we have been to, it showed in the joy people felt for the opportunity to help themselves.
Going to Rwanda and filming Hope Haven has made such an impact on all of our hearts. After the horrific genocide the country suffered from, this country has worked hard towards healing and forgiveness. The kindness and love and open arms we experienced there will never be forgotten.
We came in not knowing what to expect and were blown away by what we learned. There is so much in life that we take for granted and I was humbled by those that have little and give so much with no expectations for return.
During our time there, we were able to photograph and film for the charity, we took a hike to the well where children get water every day, we visited the genocide museum, and went on a safari, where we saw elephants, warthogs, and even a cheetah. It was breathtaking.
We truly loved our experience there and cannot wait until we can go back there again. Our hearts have been forever changed, and the country has left an imprint on oour soul forever.