A journey to Rwanda
Its been 10 years since my journey to Rwanda. I was only in the country for 10 days but those 10 days changed my life forever. It was my first time traveling out of the country, my first time experiencing life in a developing country, and I was on a mission to save the world with photos. I had decided early on in my career that I wanted to use my camera to better the world by telling the stories of the untold and educating others through pictures. I spent 10 days in the country of Rwanda following a group of cyclist traveling from village to village. I witnessed the pain and joy of a civilization that had just endured a genocide. I experienced a culture that had so little give so much. I raised money for my travels, I volunteered my time and photos, and in the end I created a coffee table book to raise money for Project Rwanda and tell its story.
Click Here to view a copy of the coffee table book. After the book was published it won the grand prize award as best published book of the year from the publishing company.
How a bike can change the world
“Cycling is a sport of second chances. This is the embodying principal of Project Rwanda, a program which brings specially designed bikes to serve the farming and transportation needs of a nation on the mend from civil war and genocide that claimed 1 million lives.” - Project Rwanda
Almost 14 years ago Rwanda suffered from a terrible genocide. Both the county and its people are still trying to rebuild their lives, society, and economy.The country of Rwanda has about 500,000 small coffee producers, which grow coffee in small gardens. In 2006, Rwanda started selling specialty coffee direct to U.S. and European cities. The specialty coffee market has given them the potential for a dynamic and prosperous economy. The process of transporting coffee to the washing stations is difficult. Because of overpopulation, the farmers can’t use animal transportation and trucks are too expensive to rent. Most farmers walk their crop between two to four kilometers to collection points. Project Rwanda is a non-profit, volunteer based organization that that is committed to building utility bikes so that the people can transport coffee and re-establish their community. The innovation of bikes increases the carry capacity by five times and covers more than 5 times the walking area. The bicycle is a piece of hope for the Rwandan’s and their country. It providing more than physical transportation it is transporting the country into healing their pervious wounds.