Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Painting post: Exploitation in Rwanda

Statistics are sobering but none caught my attention more so than when I ran into a website called the Sisters of Rwanda here (http://sistersofrwanda.org/). This is an NGO run out of Rwanda by Jared N Miller (a partner in The Incubator Group, a private equity firm out of Nashville) and Joseph Ayienga (Pastor from Kenya).
The NGO is actively involved in helping prostitutes (former and current) on the streets of Kigali, Rwanda lead better lives by teaching them about better opportunities and slowly but surely convincing them to stay off the streets.

The numbers that caught my eye were the results of this group interviewing random samplings of women in and around Kigali. Some averages taken from interviewing groups of 50 women were as follows: (from their website)

-5 Men per day
-7 Days per week
-3 Weeks off per year
-A condom was used less than half of the time
-If a man pays 5,000 RWF ($9.00 USD) he doesn’t have to use a condom. If a man pays 1,000 RWF – 3,000 RWF ($1.80 USD - $5.40 USD), the girl has some bargaining power and can get them to use one about half the time. The more the man pays, the less likely he is to use a condom.

They had images of women on their site that bespoke a kind of suffering that I could hardly imagine and I decided to paint one of them. This is what I have created and I decided to call it "5 Men a day 7 days a week 49 weeks a year". The painting is 3 feet wide and 4 feet high.


Angela said...

It would be a good thing if nobody got into that sort of lifestyle. Sad what can come of it all. You making a painting with that meaning is outstanding! I think!!!! WONDERFUL WORK!

Sunflower Optimism said...

Very moving painting and post. Thank you