MM's Out of Africa IV: True Religion in Central Africa
Our young men of The World Youth Alliance in Rwanda amaze me. They are articulate, committed, and full of joy. They are strong, slightly wild, and they care for we women of WYA International like queens. It is therein that they demonstrate the purest and noblest kind of manhood... in the promotion of their sisters. They have deliberately placed capable young women in prominent places in our five-hundred member national chapter, and they beam with pride at the results of their initiative: young Rwandan women who can reason thoroughly and speak clearly on the most serious political/social issues facing the future of their families, and who will thus form and restore their culture for those they love. In a country where the average university classroom contains a student population that is 99% male, our young men have tackled this disparity because they realize that the future of Rwandan culture is in the hands of those who rock the cradle and teach toddlers. Just today, in a classroom full of men, a new male recruit urgently asked us "what are your goals for increasing women's participation in society?"... and then he asked one of our young women trainees to respond. Our young men take seriously their responsibility to invite their women to flourish, and it is working.
Even above and beyond this call of duty, our young men have taken on the call of James 1: true religion lies in the practical care of widows and orphans. Last summer, our young men insisted that a good part of our training seminars be devoted to the issue of genocide widows and their practical needs. This year, their hearts have turned towards the child orphans of Rwanda, and after a networking visit today with a fabulous NGO called simply "Orphans of Rwanda," our young men are making plans to send our WYA young people out as formal mentors for these precious children. Along the way, we plan to teach them to dance, to sing, to sew and chop wood, to laugh with the best of them, and to plan to do anything.