Lily Yeh – The Rwanda Healing Project

Lily Yeh, who was born in China 1941 and has lived in the USA since 1960, started The Village of Arts and Humanities in Philadelphia in 1986, a not-for-profit initiative to revitalize neighbourhoods through art, and since then she has worked as an artist. In 2004, she founded the Barefoot Artists and also the two-part Rwanda Healing Project: of the transformation of the Rigerero Survivors Village, erected 1997/1998 for survivors of the genocide and combining three neighbouring villages, and the construction of a memorial. 100 families with 190 children lived in the village. Six teachers were trained to paint houses with the kids. The Cyanzarwe Genocide Memorial Park was built to plans by Lily Yeh, after she had visited the memorial sites of Nyamata and Natarama, and it contains the remains of 190 victims of the genocide. The people who live there considered that it was just as important to come to terms with the genocide and to commemorate the dead as the fact that the American artists did not support the government but the people directly on the spot.

The Rwanda Healing Project from Barefoot Artists on Vimeo.