IMPANDA (pronounced [im•haun•da] and rhymes with Rwanda), is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing at-risk Rwandan youth with reliable access to education, cultural enrichment and other basic necessities like food, clothing and shelter.
On April 6, 1994, a plane carrying Rwandan President, Juvénal Habyarimana, was shot down setting in motion one of the bloodiest events of the late 20th century. Under the cover of war, Hutu extremists launched their plans to destroy the entire Tutsi civilian population. In the weeks following President Habyarimana's assassination, 800,000 men, women and children were slaughtered in what is referred to as the "Rwandan Genocide", eliminating as many as three quarters of the Tutsi population.
In the aftermath of the genocide, Rwanda's industrial infrastructure was destroyed and much of its population dislocated. Among the most vulnerable affected were hundreds of thousands of children left orphaned or separated from their parents who were often brutally raped, murdered or maimed right before their eyes. A recent Unicef report estimates that 700,000 children - 18 percent of Rwanda's 4.2 million children - still live in dire circumstances, many left to fend for themselves on crowded city streets where drugs and violence are a convenient distraction from the horrors they faced not long ago.
The mission of IMPANDA is to empower Rwandan youth by fostering self-reliance, compassion and cultural sensitivity through education, health and the arts. Our programs not only help provide the basic necessities needed to survive, but inspire hope and confidence as these amazing children grow to become the business, community and political leaders of tomorrow. It's through these powerful and life changing interactions we are reminded how precious and valuable our basic human rights are - to live, learn, heal, create, tell our stories and dance to the rhythm of our hearts. This is IMPANDA!
Please join us in celebrating peace, love and compassion as we work towards helping ensure every Rwandan child impacted by this devastating event has an opportunity to grow, prosper and live a life full of art, music, education and good health now and for generations to come.
100% of all contributions to this campaing will go towards delivering backpacks full of supplies, clothing, food and other basic necessities to at-risk Rwandan youth in the villiage of Nyamirambo just outside of Kigali where hundreds of thousands of children are still struggling to survive. Each backpack will include a change of clothes, a pair of shoes, a first aid kit, basic toiletries, and a rain jacket.
Make a donation between now and December 31st, 2015 and I will personally match every contribution dollar-for-dollar, up to $1250 - that's HALF of the $2500 goal! Every little bit helps so please share this campaign with family, friends and co-workers who are interested in helping improve the lives of these wonderful children!