Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

World Refugee Week and the real hero of "Hotel Rwanda"

June 15, 2005
Today I attended the reception that our WILPF sponsor, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, held honoring World Refugee Week, June 15 - 20. She and other Representatives introduced HR 306 calling for better protection of refugees and humane treatment of the world's nearly 20,000,000 refugees. Along with the ambassador from Rwanda and a representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, we heard the "real" Paul Rusesabagina, made famous by the movie "Hotel Rwanda", give his analysis of the conflictand genocide in Rwanda and the need to work with refugees all over the world. If you haven't seen the movie "Hotel Rwanda" I highly recommend it. The producer of the film was also present.

Congresswoman Johnson also made a strong plea to work for peace throughout the world in order to end the growing refugee crisis.

Christine Gedin, a young woman of Sudan, who has spent much of her life as a refugee and is now with the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, made a poignant plea for women in warring nations, as well as women from all over the world to join in ending war and helping refugees to return home or find asylum. She would be an excellent member of WILPF.

It was an inspiring, though somewhat depressing, afternoon. There is SO much to do....everywhere we turn! One excellent sign of hope was the number of young men and women from the Congressional staff who attended. Their response to the speakers was enthusiastic. Let's hope their enthusiasm turns into dynamic service.

Peace, Phyllis Yingling


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