Rwandan women in the U.S. Rwandan diaspora: Staying connected

For the first time ever, the U.S. Rwandan Diaspora Women’s Convention took place in Arlington, VA on Saturday, March 19th 2016, bringing together about five hundred participants. This event was also attended by several Rwandan officials, the Ambassador of Rwanda to the U.S. Mathilde Mukantabana, and the Guest of Honor, First Lady Jeannette Kagame. The event was organized by the Rwandan Diaspora, in collaboration with the Embassy of Rwanda in Washington, DC.

Conv4The theme of the event, “Empowering Rwandan Women in the Diaspora: Challenges and opportunities,” reflected both the similarities and particularities between Rwandan Women in Rwanda and those in the Diaspora. In her remarks, Mrs. Kagame urged for women in the Diaspora to continue organizing for development.
“When women organize around a common purpose, their combined energies have a big effect on the realization of their aspirations” said Mrs. Kagame.

Three different panels explored the role of different generations of Rwandan women in upholding their Rwandan values, exemplifying them to the families they raise, and being active members of the Rwandan society in the U.S. by staying connected to the country and its development.
A panel made up of young Rwandan women put an emphasis on the need for the youth in the Diaspora to use the diverse environment they are in, and to foster knowledge in order to use it as an opportunity for a worldlier experience.

Amidst meaningful conversations, lively entertainment, and shared meals, women reminded each other of their crucial role in the Rwandan society to be the protectors of the Rwandan culture and role models for the children they are raising.