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Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda Dedicated 15 Years After Genocide to Provide Healing Community to African Orphans
Date:6/8/2009

es, read their poetry, lead tours of the facility, and serve lunch to their guests who are dignitaries from around the world. Rwandan leaders and the Israeli Ambassador will be joined by: Agahozo-Shalom Founder Anne Heyman, Esq.; Seth Merrin, CEO of Liquidnet, JDC's corporate partner; JDC Board member Nora Barron, and William Recant, JDC Assistant Executive Vice President. The celebration includes the planting of mango and banana trees, unveiling of a mosaic, and speeches by students.

"Within the Jewish world, we have worked with Holocaust survivors to heal some of the psychological wounds of the past," said JDC's Dr. William Recant. "Yemin Orde Youth Village in Israel, one of the villages which served as homes to orphans of the Holocaust, has become a model for helping to rebuild traumatized lives. Agahozo-Shalom shares the lessons we learned from these experiences. The Village is a place where children can heal, experience renewal, and prepare for the responsibilities of adulthood. Agahozo-Shalom is a special project for us based on a shared bond of survival."

Agahozo-Shalom reflects the principles established at Yemin Orde Youth Village of healing or repair (tikkun in Hebrew). Young people are assisted by "house mothers," many of whom lost family members in the Genocide, mental health counselors, teachers and volunteers who all work together to heal the self and the heart (tikkun halev) and to empower the youth to heal the world by helping others (tikkun olam). The Village also serves orphans and traumatized youth who lost parents to AIDS and other causes.

Agahozo-Shalom Founder and JDC supporter Anne Heyman said, "In November 2005, I learned that Rwanda had a tremendous orphan problem, and no systemic solution to deal with it. I was immediately struck by the fact that after the Second World War in Israel, there was a tremendous influx of orphans. And what did they do with the child
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SOURCE American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)
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