Create Global Healing: Celebrating our 16th Anniversary!Oct 15, 2007
Inspired by her work with orphan genocide survivors in Rwanda, Dr. Lori Leyden founded the non-profit, Create Global Healing in 2007 to support traumatized young people around the world to heal, work and lead us into a peaceful future. Since that time, Lori and her team have brought comfort, peace and hope to thousands around the world from Rwanda to Australian Indigenous and Refugee communities and post school shooting communities in Newtown, CT, and Parkland, FL. Create Global Healing also provides online Trauma Relief and Resiliency Training and Consulting Services for individuals and groups serving traumatized communities around the world. Click here for more of Lori’s inspirational story.
The future of our world lies in the hands of our children - our next generation of leaders.
Perhaps you have felt the same sense of overwhelm (I call it a crisis of imagination) as I did when I used to contemplate how we would achieve peace in our hearts and peace in our world. All that changed for me after my grief and trauma counseling work with genocide survivors in Rwanda, Africa in the fall of 2007.
Working with amazingly resilient widows and orphan head of households changed my life and opened me to the possibilities for world healing beyond what I could envision before this trip. There are truly so many deserving individuals in Rwanda and in our world however the survivors that seem to be the most under-served are Orphan Head of Households (OHH) - children raising children.
I had the privilege of doing stress and trauma healing work with over 100 Orphan Head of Households, all genocide survivors between the ages of 17 and 30, all destitute and all caring for 3 to 6 younger orphans. Experiencing their open-heartedness and courage in the face of surviving war, death, AIDs, torture, mutilation, rape and poverty profoundly stirred my soul.
After an intense week of working together, these Orphan Head of Households created a play for us about their lives and the following prayer:
Even though we face so many challenges and it is hard for us to forgive because we live with the consequences (of the genocide) every day we want you to know that we give thanks to God for sending you, for your coming all this way to teach us important lessons and for caring about us. Please go back to America and tell people about us. Be safe in your journey home. May God bless you, your families, and all the work you do. Please do not forget us and please come back.
My soul was so deeply stirred by their resilience, open-heartedness, and promise that I returned home determined to raise awareness and support them in whatever way I can to ensure a more hopeful future for them and for all of us.
If conditions for these young people, and for the growing number of orphans around the globe, do not change, our future leaders and terrorists will continue to be motivated by fear, despair, greed and hate.
Project Light Rwanda
Each time I returned from Rwanda my heart broke open to the possibilities for world healing. Project LIGHT: Rwanda was conceived – a vision for establishing the world’s first international youth healing, heart-centered leadership and economic sustainability program. In 2011, with the help of grassroots donors and Nick Ortner, founder of The Tapping Solution, Project LIGHT: Rwanda became a reality. 12 Project LIGHT Ambassadors completed a 4-week residential training program and with continued support from middle school children to adults are being sponsored for university and entrepreneurial activities, as well as becoming leaders in their communities.
If survivors of one of the most horrific tragedies in the world can forgive, heal and reconcile then there is hope for all of us to do the same.
Since I began my humanitarian work I am more convinced than ever that we can create global healing in our lifetime.