“Teaching Peace. Healing Hearts. Saving Lives,” is the mission statement of the Peace Center for Forgiveness and Reconciliation located in Indianapolis, founded and directed by Kizito Kalima.
In 1994, over one million Rwandan citizens were murdered and displaced from their homes by political and governmental extremists. Kalima, a survivor of the genocide, was left to handle PTSD on his own, but wanted to provide better opportunities for others who has survived as well.
“I suffered the severe consequences that come with being orphan at a young age. On the other side, I had to grow up so fast and be responsible of my life and others,” Kalima said.
Kalima developed the Peace Center, and it is his mission to give healing to young people who have experienced violence and injustice — and to break the cycle.
Kalima oversees all everyday activities at the Peace Center including genocide awareness, peace and conflict resolution training, mentoring programs, job placement and the job readiness program.
The Peace Center assists the African refugee community in Indianapolis by helping educate them in the English language and U.S. culture. Problem solving is another part of the program that Kalima has found to be helpful by creating different groups according to their educational needs and interest.
Some of the groups coordinated by Kalima incorporate teaching English as a second language, driver’s education, after school youth group, and a teenage group that focuses on English reading, writing and comprehension. A more detailed list of the times and descriptions of these programs is below the article.
Recently Kalima spoke at Indiana Wesleyan University for commencement, and also had the opportunity to speak at the United Nations headquarters. He said he was very glad for this because it gave him a platform to share his story with the entire world.
“If you would like to contribute and help countries that are experiencing genocide, you can help by advocating for victims, raising awareness or funding groups that are already in place to fight genocide and other mass atrocities,” Kalima said.
Link to Kalima’s full commencement speech at IWU here