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.”

“You have made us go boom”

28 Jul

Mussolini and Francis, one of his ALSAR colleagues who is also a landmine survivor, met with me yesterday evening to go over the work they have done on their web site and their organizational documents.  We have been working on their site over the past two months.

In our past meetings, I had given Mussolini a hard time for being late, but yesterday, he arrived before I did.  “Being on time is very important,” he told me.  I blushed.

We walked up the ramp to Bourbon Coffee.  “How was your weekend?” I inquired.

“It was not good.  My leg is hurting.  It is never good when my leg hurts.  They will have to cut it more.”

As we sat in the coffee shop, Mussolini proudly showed me a document Francis and he had put together which clearly describes ALSAR’s mission, activities, and plan of action.  They had not had a lot of time to work on the web site yet, but wanted to make sure they had planned out exactly what they wanted the site to convey first.

We went over the techniques for updating and editing content, and I gave them suggestions on how to design their pages.  I began feeling a bit disappointed that we had not accomplished more.  I think Mussolini sensed this.

“You have made us go boom!” These words were somewhat disconcerting coming from Mussolini, a landmine survivor.

I think he saw my hesitation.  “I mean, you have helped us to explode.”

Hmmm… not much better.

“Your help, on our web site, will help ALSAR grow.  We will be able to do much more with the tools you have given us.”

Ok, I’ll take that.  But the truth is that Mussolini and Francis have given themselves the tools.  I taught them how to work with a google site, but they have overcome their injuries, faced their facts, and have chosen to live.  Although he spends many days in pain, Mussolini is determined to see ALSAR succeed.  He wants to ensure that he helps those who are going through the same mental and physical pains.  He may have lost his leg, but his spirit remains, and it is this strength and determination that will enable him and his organization to grow and succeed.

Posted By Lisa Rogoff

Posted Jul 28th, 2009

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