Sawa Blog 41: Sawa brings Heroes to Canada to Connect at Dalai Lama Centre!
SAWA connects SAWA Heroes and their solutions to the world so that together we can solve our most pressing global challenges like extreme poverty, environmental degradation, and the spread of HIV AIDS. And this is a milestone month for SAWA as we show just how far we are able to connect SAWA Heroes and build a community around their leadership.
Through much determination and worthwhile effort, SAWA obtained visas for three SAWA Heroes to come to Vancouver for a month to participate in workshops and meet with key people who will help magnify their projects’ successes. And in honour of their inspirational leadership, the three SAWA Heroes – Selemen from Rwanda, Nadia from Vanuatu, and Dr. Robert from Uganda, have been invited to attend the much anticipated Connecting for Change Conference at the Dalai Lama Centre for Peace (September 26th to 28th). At this three day conference the Heroes will be strategically partnered with corporate, social sector, and philanthropic leaders who can help them in their specific endeavors and in turn, learn from their leadership. The Dialogue is a part of the Vancouver Peace Summit: Nobel Laureate in Dialogues, where the list of inspirational speakers includes the Dalai Lama himself, and Desmond Tutu!
Selemen was the first to arrive on Tuesday, after getting his visa approved on Monday and surviving a 40 hour excursion! His first time leaving the African continent, seeing skyscrapers, and an ocean, he had much to take in, but little time to do it before heading off to his first 5 day workshop at the Social Venture Institute at Hollyhock on Cortez Island. Of the 140 non profit and business leaders attending, he is the only foreigner - a very special guest, undoubtedly making quite an impact with his opening speech about his days as a child soldier, how he overcame the trauma, and went on to form ASOLATE (a vocational training center for orphans in Rwanda). His resilience and leadership make him an amazing hero and we know his story will touch many lives while he is here. While the following quote is by the Dalai Lama, they very well could be the words of such a SAWA Hero as Selemen. Welcome Selemen!
Never give up; No matter what is going on Never give up. Develop the heart; Too much energy in your country Is spent developing the mind, Instead of the heart. Develop the heart. Be compassionate; Not just with your friends, But with everyone. Be compassionate. Work for peace; In your heart, And in the world. Work for peace. And I say again, Never give up. No matter what is going on around you, Never give up (Dalai Lama).