• Kristina C. Worm; Co-founder; President

In 1994 I read an article in a news magazine about a genocide that had taken place in a small country in Africa. The details were horrifying. I was particularly struck by the fact that many of the victims were killed with machetes or clubs, even while they begged for a quick death. At the time the true figures were not known, but it was estimated that one eighth of the population had been killed. That country was Rwanda.

Not much else was reported in the American press, but I always had a curiosity about what became of that tragic country. I doubted that Rwanda could survive such utter devastation.

In August 2007 I met a Catholic priest, Father Pascal Bigirimana. Being a native of Rwanda he wanted me to see his country as he saw it, a beautiful home with a tragic past and hopes for a better future. In January 2008 I visited Rwanda. I was happy to find that the country has a new democratic government with a reputation for honesty and stability. The capital city of Kigali has been rebuilt and is one of the safest places to visit in Africa. 

However, I was struck by the poverty I witnessed in the outlying villages. Most have no running water or electricity. They grow their own food in small gardens or they go hungry. When drought strikes or the soil becomes spent they starve. Many live in mud homes which become flooded or are destroyed when the rainy season comes. Their children lack the education they will need as adults for the country to continue its progress. This puts Rwanda at risk for political instability and more violence. This cannot happen again, Rwanda and her people have suffered enough.

After returning from my trip I discussed Rwanda’s plight with friends and relatives. I was touched by their pity and compassion for this poor country. I began to realize this was where I was needed. When I think of how abundantly I have been blessed, and how little it takes to relieve suffering in Rwanda, I feel compelled to help. Since “Lift up Their Hearts” currently confines its efforts to a small area in Rwanda we can operate with a strictly volunteer staff and contributions can be used as efficiently as possible. Because I care deeply for these people and, because I am a donor myself, I am very careful to ensure that the money we receive is spent in a way that will benefit the neediest people the most.

About my background: I have been a Licensed Practical Nurse for nineteen years. I am married and have three children. My work for “Lift up Their Hearts is strictly voluntary, and I enjoy it immensely.

You and Lift Up Their Hearts can help Rwanda end the cycle of poverty in East Africa.
The Genocide of the Tutsis of 1994 devastated the population of Rwanda both physically and psycologically. It left the country financially bankrupt and destroyed it's primitive infrastructure.

But right now Rwanda is on the path to a brighter future. The people of Rwanda have turned away from the resentment and hatred that caused the violence of the past. The country is politically stable and it's borders are secure. And Rwanda has embarked on an ambitious campaign to become the center of Information and Communications Technology in Africa. This would mean unlimited opportunities for financial growth and stability in East Africa. The income generated by the ICT business in Rwanda could provide better education, employment and income for Rwanda and its border countries.

However, Rwanda struggles to repair the emotional and physical injuries caused by the Genocide of the Tutsis. Today many older adults, witnesses to the genocide, have impaired physical and mental health. Their already meager income is threatened by their inablility to cope with daily struggles. The violence they witnessed and the grief of losing so many loved ones hampers their efforts to think clearly. Lift Up Their Hearts helps these survivors recover economically by providing them with small business opportunities and by improving their living conditions we give them hope for a better future.

Unfortunately the genocide also left many children vulnerable.  Survivors who as children witnessed  the genocide and its harrowing aftermath have been impacted by this history of violence.  AIDS, the loss of their parents and many caring adults and Rwanda’s economic devastation have all taken their toll on Rwanda's young population.  Lift up Their Hearts helps these orphans by assisting in their education, improving their living conditions and by providing a means of income for young adults. .
Lift  Up Their Hearts works to aid in the recovery and stability of the nation. Our hope is that Rwanda becomes a leader in good governance and economic progress in Africa.
In 2012 Lift Up Their Hearts will begin construction of a school dedicated to teaching computer skills and  English language to young adults.  Rwanda is fast becoming a leader in Africa in communications technology.  They need citizens with computer skills and English knowledge to accomplish this goal. The internet is an important communications tool which can connect them with innovative ideas in the outside world and knowledge of the English language allows them to confer with a host of ICT experts from all over the world.

Contact Us
email us at: liftuptheirhearts@yahoo.com

Lift Up Their Hearts
P.O. Box 101
St Bonifacius, Mn. 55375