ACfH was born from a long history of individual and collective experiences of violent conflict and genocide. In 1996, Paul Mutama Sebasaza, co-founder of the organization, experienced the horrible face of humanity. His father and other family members were brutally murdered in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is married to Marie Blanche, a survivor of the genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994. Both Paul and Blanche experienced unspeakable physical and psychological traumas caused by violence. However, despite their bitter past, they decided to look ahead as they contribute to building peaceful and prosperous communities. In 2018 Paul met Aad van den Bos and Petra van Dijk in a Protestanse Kerk in the Netherlands. As a result of their shared passion for social transformation, the long-held vision was born to empower people affected by war and genocide. In 2019, ACfH was officially registered as a non-governmental organization in the Netherlands (ANBI). Paul returned to Africa with the aim of settling in the Great Lakes region, mainly Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the year 2020, we started a pilot project to sponsor poor children in Uvira east DRC. In the year 2021 we decided to focus on Rwanda as the center for our activities, we started there with a sewing workshop and later expanded this with peace education projects in Eastern and Southern Rwanda. And ACfH is growing, in March 2022 we opened an office in Kigali (Rwanda). ACfH is led by a competent team of board members committed to the development of a nonviolent generation.
The following reasons explain why we have chosen to establish A Cup for Humanity Africa headquarters in Rwanda.
- Rwanda has experienced genocide which claimed around more than 1000.000 human lives. In just 100 days in 1994, around more than one million people were slaughtered in Rwanda. The genocide targeted members of the Tutsi community as well as moderate Hutu. Neighbours killed neighbours and some husbands even killed their Tutsi wives, saying they would be killed if they refused. Beyond human losses the genocide wrecked the country’s economy and destroyed the social tissue. The mass involvement of people is beyond common sense. Even priests and nuns have been convicted of killing people, including some who sought shelter in churches. The question is: how could such a culture of violence and obliteration rise at all and why did people adopt it with overmuch eagerness and what is the role of the church in offering new alternatives against violence? Without denying the contribution of other stakeholders in addressing this question, it is obvious that this question evokes an existential need to educate society and reshape ideologies.
- After the genocide was stopped by the RPF (Rwanda Patriotic Front) Inkotanyi and as the country sets itself on a reconstruction and development path, the contribution of other stakeholders is critically needed. Genocide survivors need to be supported, communities need to be healed, refugees need to be empowered and the young generation needs to be educated and prepared as peaceful citizens of tomorrow.
- Rwanda continues to feature as one of the safest countries in the world, according to a new Gallup Global Law and Order report. The report has ranked Rwanda 11th globally and 2nd in Africa with over 87 percent of citizens saying that they feel safe and confident in the security organs. The country offers a safe environment for work.
- Rwanda is located at the heart of Africa. It offers ample advantages for reaching out to other countries in the region such as Congo, Burundi, Uganda, and Kenya.
In collaboration with the government of Rwanda A Cup for Humanity is starting three main projects namely, peace education with a focus on reconciliation and community healing, assisting genocide survivors and empowering refugees.
In collaboration with the government of Rwanda, ACfH wants to start three main projects, namely peace education with a focus on reconciliation and community healing, helping survivors of genocide and strengthening refugees/ displaced persons. In the future, we will establish a center for reconciliation and community healing in Rwanda that will serve as a beacon of peace in the region and beyond.