Retired lieutenant-general and celebrated humanitarian, Senator Romeo Dallaire spoke at MacEwan University in Edmonton last night. Truly an inspiration.
Dallaire’s main premise is that human life is worth protecting. War is a failure of leadership and should be prevented. But if it can’t be prevented, then it’s our duty as human beings to do what we can to protect the innocent.
In 1994, General Dallaire commanded the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda. The atrocities he witnessed caused him to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. For those who have experienced war or other forms of abuse, the suffering doesn’t end when the assaults stop.
One of YEGO Rwanda’s objectives is to help heal those suffering the aftereffects of the Rwandan Genocide by training Rwandan trauma counsellors.
YEGO founder Emmanuel Gatera has been studying trauma counselling methods to earn his Doctorate in Ministry from St. Stephen’s College in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. In turn, he will train others back home.
Since his retirement from the military, Senator Dallaire has worked to bring an understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder to the general public. He has also founded the Romeo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, a global partnership committed to ending the use and recruitment of child soldiers worldwide.
Senator Dallaire left us with this challenge:
Go to a developing country. Get your boots dirty with the soil of the land. Experience how 80% of the world lives. Return impassioned to make a difference. Care enough to know that all humans are human. There is not one human more human than another.