Lisa Rogoff

Lisa Rogoff (Survivor Corps in Rwanda): Lisa has spent much of her professional career promoting human rights. She earned a BA from Colgate University. She then worked for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on Conscience where she produced Voices on Genocide Prevention, a weekly podcast. Lisa then worked at the ENOUGH Project, directing campaigns to raise awareness about the crises in Sudan, Congo and Uganda. Lisa returned to academia to pursue a joint-degree at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and McDonough School of Business. While at Georgetown she worked at the Clinton Global Initiative, designing the Human Rights and Peace Track for the CGI’s second annual conference for university students. During her first year at graduate school, Lisa also worked with the Grassroots and Issues Management Team at APCO Worldwide, a global communications consulting firm. After her fellowship, Lisa wrote: "My experience in Rwanda has taught me the importance of flexibility. I’ve also seen the importance of empowering women...I don’t know that I’ve changed the way I look at myself, though I have come to understand just how fortunate I am to have been born in my circumstances. I have met so many wonderful and talented men and women in Rwanda who have been unable to realize their fullest potential because of their economic, social, or political situations.”


18 Jun

In 1993, when Eugine Mussolini was fifteen years old, he stepped on a landmine while trying to join the RPF forces in Rwanda’s eastern province.  Doctors performed successive operations on his left leg, amputating more each time.  Today, he must replace his prosthetic leg yearly to avoid further infection, and he must pay for this out of his own pocket.

“My first thought was, ‘I am crippled.  My world is over.'” Mussolini told me yesterday afternoon as we sat in the restaurant at Chez Lando.  “But after talking about my challenges, I faced my problems, and accepted how I am.  There is nothing I can do but overcome.”

And overcome he has.  Besides working full time for the Ministry of Finance, he runs the Association of Landmine Survivors and Amputees (ALSA) on a volunteer basis.  ALSA does not have the money to hire staff, open an office, or create brochures and advocacy materials.  Despite these significant setbacks, a group of over 30 ALSA members meets every Saturday to support one another – they have begun using the peer support methods they learned during Survivor Corps’ recent training – and contribute whatever amount each can give.

I will be working with Mussolini to develop a business plan, create a budget, design a web site, and strengthen ALSA’s advocacy efforts.

Mussolini ended our meeting on a high note. “Life continues,” he said, “When we can change a survivor’s mindset, teach that person to overcome, and to help himself, we call it a ‘resurrection,’ both for the him and for us.

Posted By Lisa Rogoff

Posted Jun 18th, 2009

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