Several families of Gatumba Survivors are now living in upstate New York. From August 12-13, 2007, at Camp Pinnacle, in Voorheesville, NY, the Third Annual Gatumba Massacre Memorial Gathering will be held. This event, which is open to all Gatumba Survivors, will help the Survivors and their families rekindle old bonds and forge new connections, pay respects to those who were murdered, and continue healing raw emotional wounds. Privately, the Survivors, who generally are deeply religious, will have the chance to hold services and remembrances of those lost in a peaceful and safe location. Sponsorships to bring the Survivors to Albany are being obtained daily.
On a greater scale, the Survivors will use this event as a platform to pressure the international community to bring these evildoers to justice, to protect the 2,000-plus remaining Banyamulenge from the threat of genocide, and to call for a cessation of violence against all civilian populations throughout the Congo and the Great Lakes Region. Violence against innocent civilians continues to this day throughout the Congo – a tragedy that must be averted.
The events open to the public will be held on Sunday, August 12, and will include presentations and speakers on the Gatumba Massacre and the situation in the Great Lakes region of Africa, present many opportunities for people to get involved as a force for change with different types of organizations, provide a chance to meet and interact with the Survivors, and will feature a live concert with several performers, all afternoon, in a truly beautiful setting in the Helderberg Mountains only a short drive from Albany, New York.
This gathering is being spearheaded by two nonprofit groups organized by survivors here in the U.S. – the Gatumba Refugees Survivors Foundation, Inc. and the Mahoro Association – and the Global Alliance Distribution, an entertainment company that has broken new ground by actively participating in practices and strategies that inspire others in the industry to effect positive social, political, and philanthropic change around the world.
Other organizations involved include several local churches in Albany, NY, including the Emmaus United Methodist Church, several churches in the communities where the Survivors have resettled, Human Rights Watch, the U.S. Committee on Refugees and Immigrants, and Mapendo International.
For more information and a list of the artists & speakers who will be attending, download the 2007 schedule and info packet.
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