Kumva Neza: From the Land of the Living Skies to the Land of A Thousand Hills (2009)

DVD. Total Running time 69 min. Copies available from SCIC.

Synopsis: In 1994, through the lenses of the world's cameras, the small East African country of Rwanda entered our homes. For one hundred days and one hundred nights, the media confronted us with horrific images of more than 800,000 people being slaughtered by their neighbours. 

Driven by the horrors of the Rwandan genocide and its aftermath, Room for Improvement Youth Development Inc. (RFYID) was created by a group of Saskatchewan youth who were inspired to help the community of Ruli, a small village in Rwanda. As RFYID strived to provide education and basic health care to the youth of the Ruli community, they realized that youth alike are facing injustices all over the world.

"Kumva neza," a Kinyarwandan phrase meaning "to better understand," guides these students on their journey. From stories behind the paintings of local artists, to the lending of hands in the making of chapatis, they build connections - they build friendships. These simple experiences show us the power of humility and the necessity of working together towards a better future.

The documentary was made possible through Youth Media Project Funding from SCIC.

Kumva Neza Trailer: