Welcome to The Seeds Storyteller Series: Difference-Making During the Corona Crisis in which I’ll be talking with a soul brother from the Congo, Orion Rwizibuka Boyinkere Pappy, along with 2 beloved collaborators of his, Ryan Carter and Karama Rwizibuka Raïssa. I cannot wait for you to hear from these 3 gifted and visionary ARTivists (artists-activists) who use their tools of film, photography, and writing to tell stories that bring about change, illuminate beauty, and build community ‘round the world.
In case you missed the livestream, check out the replay right here or head to your favorite social media platform: YouTube | IGTV | Facebook. While you’re there, subscribe to join the fun with us at Seeds of Exchange. Keep the convo goin’ in the comments below.
WHAT you can look forward to in this conversation:
– ARMCHAIR TRAVEL to the Congo, where our three storytellers live and/or work. Learn how their community is doing and how they have been impacted by the Coronavirus.
– LEARN about Pappy Orion’s extraordinary story. Here’s a glimpse: Born in the DRC, he was forced to be a child soldier and then to flee his country due to war as a young child. He lived on the streets in South Africa until he was given the life-changing opportunity to pursue education. Now he wants to invest back in his country and see redemption and hope arise within the people of the DRC through his organization, Focus Congo and project, Kitoko Oyo.
The days of this pandemic have been deeply significant, as they have been a catalyst for a time of rethinking and reflecting on the meaning of life in the midst of great difficulties. -Pappy
– BE INSPIRED by his friends and collaborators Ryan Carter and Karama Rwizibuka Raïssa, who will be joining us for a portion of the conversation to share their creative and changemaking work with us. Learn more about and connect with Ryan and Raïssa below.
NUDGES for inspired ACTion:
1 – CALL SOMEONE and ask them how they are doing. Encourage them. Share a story of hope with them.
2 – CONTRIBUTE to the project, “What is the meaning of life” by recording a video answering the questions: “What is the meaning of life to me in these hard times? What makes my heart burn?” Email your video to Pappy.
3 – DONATE to Focus Congo here.
The country is on lock-down and the prices of things are sky-rocketing. We are committed to do everything we can to provide for those who are in need in our community and to raise support for doctors who are working in the Chahi hospital that we support. The doctors aren’t getting paid right now and yet, they are working day and night to help the poor in region. -Pappy
4 – PRAY and HOPE that the situation of the Coronavirus doesn’t escalate in Congo.
5 – COMMIT TO YOUR OWN PLACES OF PAUSE (PoPs). Choose 1 thing to weave into your life from our storyteller’s practice that will create plentyFULL peace within you.
6 – CONNECT WITH, follow, and friend our team
- Orion Rwizibuka Boyinkere Pappy – Facebook | Insta | Email / Focus Congo Website| Facebook | Insta / Kitoko Oyo Website| Facebook | Insta
- Ryan Carter / Ryan Carter Images: Website | Galleries | Email
- Raissa / Kitoko Oyo: Email
- Sarah / Seeds of Exchange: Website | Facebook | Insta | YouTube | 7 ways to join the fun so you can be inspired and ignited to make a difference locally and globally, together
MORE about Ryan & Raïssa:
Ryan Carter studied Commercial and Advertising Photography in South Australia. He went on to work in advertising photography as assistant to award winning photographers as well as developing his independent business Ryan Carter Images, which focuses on visual storytelling in a humanitarian context.
I am passionate about helping various groups express their vision, build their community, and create awareness of the valuable work they do. -Ryan
Ryan continued developing Ryan Carter Images in conjunction with international volunteer work and missionary work in various countries (Russia, Armenia, Sweden, Nepal, Georgia, Ukraine). It was in Sweden that Ryan and Pappy’s paths crossed for the first time and they began to plan for Ryan’s first photographic trip to the DRC with Pappy and Focus Congo. Ryan’s advertising background, highly developed photographic skills, coupled with his passion for honest and authentic storytelling brings a visibly striking and unique blend to the content he creates for each project.
Karama Rwizibuka Raïssa was born in Bukavu in the province of South Kivu in the Congo. She has been passionate about writing since she was very little, and she used to write poems, stories and everything that came into her head. During her studies, Focus Congo offered her an opportunity to develop her writing talent by offering her a job in their organization.
I soon discovered that all around me were many stories to tell. Stories that convey a message of dignity and hope. I decided to use photography as a means to convey an image that the world does not normally see about my country. A positive image of a positive Congo. -Raïssa
She is committed to using photography as a tool to transform thinking and as a means to show the beauty of the creation around us.
The project Kitoko Oyo has offered me a platform to show the world the unseen and unheard beauty of our people, and through that, I am learning to perfect the art of storytelling.-Raïssa
MORE from Pappy Orion … enJOY!
What are 3 words that give you hope amidst these disrupted days of work, home, and community?
Hope, this will end, and togetherness
What inspires you today?
When I think about all the positive things that are happening in Congo. Also when I have an opportunity like this to share my story, I get motivated and makes me think that there is hope.
What is 1 thing you’d like to TEACH/INFORM participants during our time together? How do you think this will encourage or inspire folks during their days of quarantine / “shelter in place” / Corona news?
I know this situation is not common to many but we have to be reminded that this an opportunity for each one of us to think deeper and reflect on what we have. Yes, it is difficult, but we will overcome and we shall see the light again.
Do you have a favorite quote or poem you’d like to share with folks?
“No Matter How Long the Night, the Day Is Sure to Come.” -African proverb
Are there any resources – books, movies, websites, people you’d like to share/connect folks with?
How do you find peace amidst these stormy days?
I usually go to a lake close to my place and seat in a place where I won’t see anyone and meditate on the beauty of creation. But I believe we can also take a time of silence in our own homes by just closing our eyes and directing our thought towards the unknown.
ABOUT the Seeds Storyteller Series:
Difference-Making During the Corona Crisis | Stories of community, compassion, and creativity in the midst of everyday life, today. We share these stories about everyday difference-makers with you in the midst of the Corona pandemic so you can be informed, inspired, and ignited to care for yourself and others in the midst of these disrupted and challenging days. Get ready to find a bit more of your story as you listen to the stories of ARTivists (artist-activists), students, parents, elders, entrepreneurs, and activists!
xo, -Sarah Davison-Tracy ❤️