Podesta: In Rwanda, ‘Out Of The Pain Has Come Great Hope’

John Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, is traveling to Rwanda with a delegation sponsored by the ONE Campaign. The trip is led by ONE Vote ’08 Co-Chairs Senators Bill Frist and Tom Daschle. Podesta sent back this dispatch from Rwanda, which was originally posted on The ONE Blog.

Today was an emotional moment for me and for the rest of our delegation. There is so much pain in Rwanda’s past, and out of that pain has come a society that is committed to reconciliation. They are trying to move forward together. This was one of the most powerful experiences I have had in any place. Out of the pain has come great hope. The people are trying to build a new country, where people live together in peace.

It’s wonderful to see this. And it is bringing new hope for the future.

Rwanda has a 2020 plan, to have growth be widespread and successful by the year 2020. We’ve seen a spirit of entrepreneurship today. We saw women sorting coffee and farmers with their specialty crops. In talking with them, there is a lot of spirit and optimism. Grow new opportunities. Put kids in school. Move forward as one country.


The people of America ought to be proud of what’s happened here and our support for the people who have come so far so fast. We’ve helped through USAID with the development of new industry and new entrepreneurs. PEPFAR is making a major difference in fighting AIDS and HIV. There’s still a lot to do, and we can help.

For more coverage of the visit, click here.