The dichotomy has reached its peak. How can I possibly turn away when a six year old, late at night with nothing to eat, comes up to me and all he asks for is some bread? – It’s okey, I just wanted to see you, were his words when I told him that all the shops were closed and that he would have to wait until tomorrow. I gave him a hug, and he stayed glued to my legs a bit longer than expected. It’s the atrocities of everyday here in Rwanda. People around the world have given their consent and the silent killing of children continues, albeit in the shadows, and for questioning eyes only to discover. I see them there every day; children, young boys with their baby brothers or baby sisters staring at what looks like the moment. Every second without food seems to be a fight, not only against hunger but also the feeling of despair. I need to do something. Like now.

You alone can’t change anything.

Well, if I was writing a thesis now and not a blog, certain words would have to be operationalized and defined in that statement. I let Obama stand for the ‘change’ part. I dig deeper into ‘anything’. Anything, nothing or like they would say in Spain- nada. It surely would be the personal paradox of this year not to believe in the civil society’s strength while the theme for my BA thesis is the civil society’s possibilities in the rigid Rwandan regime. Because this ‘anything’ is truly annoying, let me explore it further. Since when did people begin to define themselves with the system that surrounds them? You might say, well everyday! “I am a worker’s son who is about to do a ‘class trip’ (in Swedish ‘klassresa’ referring to someone who was brought up in e.g. the working class but through a university degree now adheres to a higher social rank)”. Or, “I am brat with a baby blue Lacoste shirt and my name is Gustav (a typical upper middle class name among Swedes) and I am proud of being a part of today’s Sweden, especially now when Reinfeldt has done such an excellent job”. Yeah right… but what I am trying to say is that the system you are currently in is without a doubt creating the opportunities for your identity, but you yourself probably identify with… let’s say if you are Gustav there for a while this dude, and if you are the worker’s son you probably have Håkan Hellström as an idol. Either way, you are not the system. You are a person. Herein lays the problem; when people say that you alone can’t change anything they usually refer to the system. But seriously bulb heads; who asks you to change the system?

Alex, a boy who has lost both of his parents and is in his early teenage but looks as if he is 7, came up to me the other day asking for bananas. I asked him if there was anything else he wanted from the store. He didn’t point at the Nutella, the yoghurt or the Coke standing in the fridge, instead he replied that he would like to go to school. I followed him home, mostly out of curiosity I must admit. Because how can an orphan have a home? I saw how he lived and I had to pull myself together in order not to cry, and so I called my Rwandan acquaintance Julius who knows how these things work. From next week on Alex will get to go to school. It’s a boarding school where he gets food three times a day, a place to sleep and most importantly he gets a good education. The fee is 200 USD per semester, and me and my friend Åsa will be sharing the cost. That’s 200 Swedish crones a month- for saving someone’s life. I am not changing the system. I am changing someone’s life.

And seriously- so could you.

If anyone’s up for it, please let me know because while here I could make sure the money actually goes directly to the child.

Over and out.

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