Visiting beauty queens to help raise awareness about Rwanda’s achievements

KIGALI - Miss Universe, Stefanía Fernández and Miss USA, Rima Fakih, currently in the country, yesterday pledged to raise the Rwandan flag and preach the gospel of the nation’s resilience and progress upon their return to their duty stations.
Miss Universe displaying bracelets made by Rwandan women. Next to her is Miss USA (Photo J Mbanda)
Miss Universe displaying bracelets made by Rwandan women. Next to her is Miss USA (Photo J Mbanda)

KIGALI - Miss Universe, Stefanía Fernández and Miss USA, Rima Fakih, currently in the country, yesterday pledged to raise the Rwandan flag and preach the gospel of the nation’s resilience and progress upon their return to their duty stations.

In the company of American entrepreneur and philanthropist, Francine LeFrak, the beauty queens addressed journalists, mostly pointing out their surprise at how fast the country had developed since the Genocide against the Tutsis.

“I am impressed by how people have learned to live together in harmony, something that most countries all over the world have failed to achieve,”

“A lot of people don’t realize what amazing things this country has achieved and I am sure I will continue to raise the flag for this country after I leave,” Fakih said.

LeFrak explained to reporters that she is currently running an organization; ‘Same Sky’ that runs a “women-helping-women” mission that teaches Rwandan artisans to be self-sufficient, giving them full-time employment, and the chance to become economically independent.

The mission helps Genocide survivors, specifically women infected with HIV/AIDS, to make bracelets which are later sold in the US.

“These women represent resilience and empowerment. We are hoping that with these bracelets, they will be able to create sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their families,”

“With the purchase of a bracelet, you become fashionable, socially mindful and part of the powerful circle connecting women everywhere,” she said

LeFrak said that the decision to start the project was motivated by many issues but mainly, President Paul Kagame’s promotion of gender and women empowerment.

“I am a huge admirer of President Kagame and his wife, especially for their efforts to move Rwanda forward and setting an example for moving forward and empowerment,” she said

The trio had on Thursday visited Imbuto Foundation and was hosted to a luncheon by the First Lady, Jeannette Kagame. 

They also visited clinic run by TRAC-Plus, where they met and discussed with teenagers living with HIV/AIDS, the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre and also met women Members of Parliament.

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