JEAN MICHEL HABINEZA was both and raised in Rwanda. In 2006, as a secondary school student, he initiated the ’Walk for Survivors’ in remembrance of those who perished in the genocide, gathering more than 1000 students and $3000 that was used to start an education program. He later founded the Peace and Love Proclaimers, a youth NGO that teaches youth about forgiveness and reconciliation, which today boasts over 200 members. He has since started anti-genocide student movements and educational workshops discussing the positive values lost due to genocide. Today, Jean Michel is a major in international relations at Towson University.
In his TEDxTalk, Jean Michel discusses the various anti-genocide and social justice movements he has been a part of over the past decade. After discussing the misconceptions many outside of Africa have of Rwanda and Africa and the history of the genocidal conflict in Rwanda, Jean Michel begins sharing about his organization, Peace and Love Proclaimers. Through his stories of orphaned youth affected by PLP, the message that genocide is a story for all as shared through the Global Forgiveness Conference and Walk to Remember, and the work that PLP does to provide services for those who lost family during the genocide in Rwanda, Jean Michel provides a message of hope and a challenge to future African leaders to stop making excuses and thinking that others will take care of society’s problems, and that "our unity is our strength, and we must be the light of the world."
About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)