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    Transforming a space with color

    Day 101

    Shhh…it’s a Library!

    Changemakers 365 is all about doing the doable. It’s about opening our eyes to the opportunities to make an impact in a person’s life with relatively few resources – and making change each and every day of the year.

    Part of the Series

    In Rwanda

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    When we arrived in Nyabiheke, we were glad to hear there was a library – that’s not something you usually see inside a refugee camp. But we quickly found out there was a library building – a space built and reserved by UNHCR for a library to someday take shape.

    We couldn’t resist the possibilities of this blank canvas to benefit the community…

    First thing’s first, we needed to make the library a place people wanted to be, somewhere their imaginations could be unleashed. We needed color.

    Thankfully, our artist friends Willy and Isaak were there to help. A group of school kids joined our group of travelers to get some paint up on the walls and a little bit of color in the space. “Just paint what you’re feeling,” Willy told the students. “What does what we’re doing today make you feel? What does it feel like to be making a library for Nyabiheke?”

    We picked up brushes and rollers and got to painting the walls inside the library – a horizon, people reading, images that reflected the community. The group even went outside, decorating the building façade with whimsy, welcoming passersby to come take a look inside.


    When we put the brushes down and stepped back, the space had already been transformed. Color made all the difference, but we still have a ways to go before we can call this space Nyabiheke Library…

    Changemakers 365

    by American Refugee Committee

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