Last week Foundation Rwanda and creative agency LBi Syrup hosted the inaugural “Color Rwanda with Hope” benefit and art exhibition at Sun West Studios in New York City. The event featured original paintings and coloring books showcasing powerful, inspirational drawings by Rwandan children born of rape from the genocide that shook the country in 1994.
Harlem’s Marcus Samuelsson, UNICEF ambassador and celebrity chef provided the keynote address along with Foundation Rwanda Executive Director Jules Shell and LBi Syrup CEO Omino Gardezi.
The night also featured entertainment from recording artist Chico Mann, Abena Koomson (Broadway’s “Fela!”), DJ Akalepse and Rich Medina.
Currently, all of Rwanda’s estimated 20,000 children born of rape will be turning sixteen and become eligible for secondary school. While primary school in Rwanda is free, the annual fee for secondary school is $350, which includes the cost of books, uniforms and transportation.
The limited edition coloring books will be available for purchase at www.colorrwanda.org. Each $350 raised will support one child’s annual education. Foundation Rwanda is currently sponsoring the secondary school fees for 830 children with the goal to sponsor 1,500 children in 2012.