CARBONDALE – A tremendous story of hope and restoration is happening between Illinois and East Africa. After visiting the Kigali, Rwanda Genocide Memorial, Amy Erickson was certain that massacres didn’t happen in her city. What a surprise when she returned to Southern Illinois to discover that only a few short blocks away the largest massacre surrounding labor violence in the United States took place and shook an entire nation.
While at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, Amy saw the places where newly discovered victims were buried at the Memorial, but little did she know what it would mean for her a short two months later. The graves of the Massacre victims from the great mine war in Southern Illinois would be unearthed from 90 years before. Union miners sought to “Get rid of the breed” after fearing their homes, livelihoods and families were threatened. From that 19 replacement workers were killed in 1922.
Only a few short years ago, East Africa saw one of its most devastating moments during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, taking 1 million lives. Entire families were wiped out while many more died of AIDS resulting from mass rapes (estimated at 200,000) during the genocide. Their children need care, safety and the assurance of health, a good education, and a chance of a better life.
The Olivier Kamanzi Foundation cares for 100 vulnerable orphans, widows, and poor families in Save (Pronounced SahVey) Rwanda in the Southern Province through sponsored Collective Medical Insurance. In 2015 the goal has been boosted to 9000 vulnerable individuals who are very grateful for our help. EVERY PENNY MATTERS.
Illinois, a home to dozens of coal mines and thousands of workers eking out a meager living in the 20th century, is the launch pad for the wildly popular “Herrin Massacre Tour” in July 2014. Tour go-ers learn about Rwanda and Burundi’s history and are encouraged to ponder upon their own heritage in the rolling hills of Southern Illinois. Some days were dark, too, but the people there are strong and resilient, investing in their communities and making them a great place to live.
It takes a few years to heal and recover. “Herrin is one of the most welcoming cities I’ve ever been in!” Amy cheers about Herrin today. “I love history–we can learn so much. Since I’ve been to East Africa I am so motivated to get our stories out. It’s why we began our tours.”
Shouldn’t we share what we’ve been so blessed with?
Olivier and Amy Erickson of SI Treasure Tours have joined together to provide basic needs such as education, medical insurance and economic empowerment (jobs), to restore hope to the least of these — our Children, Relatives, Friends and Neighbors.
How can you help change a life across the ocean?
We want you to take a FREE day trip with SI Treasure Tours in Southern Illinois! We’re giving away 2 seats on one of our heritage tours, a scrumptious dinner, and a beautiful night’s stay for two in rustic Southern Illinois. We’ll also have a runner up who will win 2 free seats on any choice of tour. The first 300 donor names of our campaign will be submitted in this drawing. Any amount $5 and over will provide this opportunity. Learn about Africa–learn about…..Illinois!
REMEMBER, EVERY PENNY MATTERS… Look what your donation will do…
- For only $6 per year you can sponsor one child or adult’s medical insurance – the cost of two coffees!
- $20 will help three on their way to a healthy life!
- $50 can sponsor an entire family!
- $150 or more can give us more tools to keep launching our heritage campaign in 2015!
- Make a connection, make a region better!
For more information please call 618-751-2924 or visit You Caring – Save Save Restoration & Heritage Project (Click here).