Media Releases

Survivors of 1994 Rwandan genocide to share their insights and help launch new educational initiative

August 12, 2010

TORONTO, ON – Patrick Ire­gu­ra and Emery Rutagonya, two sur­vivors of the 1994 Rwan­dan Geno­cide, are join­ing forces with Between Four Eyes to launch a new edu­ca­tion­al ini­tia­tive called the “Mind­ful­ness Ambas­sador Coun­cil” in select Toron­to schools.

This pro­gram was orig­i­nal­ly devel­oped for Rwan­dan high schools, and based on its pos­i­tive impact in strength­en­ing lead­er­ship and civic respon­si­bil­i­ty, local Toron­to stake­hold­ers are eager to pilot the project for North Amer­i­can stu­dents and their edu­ca­tors.

Ire­gu­ra and Rutagonya will share their insights on the 1994 Geno­cide and the impact of social-emo­tion­al learn­ing on char­ac­ter and com­mu­ni­ty-build­ing. Their expe­ri­ences are inform­ing the work of Between Four Eyes, an inter­na­tion­al, non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion that devel­ops edu­ca­tion­al pro­gram­ming to build inno­v­a­tive learn­ing com­mu­ni­ties that cul­ti­vate self aware­ness, inter­cul­tur­al co-oper­a­tion, and mind­ful liv­ing skill sets to address the chal­lenges of an increas­ing­ly com­plex world.

Between Four Eyes, found­ed by Theo Kof­fler, is chal­leng­ing Cana­di­an and Amer­i­can schools to launch “Mind­ful­ness Ambas­sador Coun­cils.” These are in-school clubs that teach healthy social and emo­tion­al behav­iours and encour­age par­tic­i­pants to be ambas­sadors of mind­ful­ness for their school and soci­ety at large.


WHAT:           Launch of the Mind­ful­ness Ambas­sador Coun­cil ini­tia­tive


  • Patrick Ire­gu­ra, Rwan­dan Geno­cide sur­vivor and grad­u­ate of the Kigali Insti­tute of Edu­ca­tion
  • Emery Rutagonya, Rwan­dan Geno­cide sur­vivor and grad­u­ate of Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty of Rwan­da
  • Theo Kof­fler, founder of Between Four Eyes
  • Gary Dig­gins, strate­gic advi­sor and teacher for Between Four Eyes

WHEN:           7:30 p.m., Wednes­day, August 18, 2010

WHERE:        Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto’s Mul­ti-Faith Cen­tre — 569 Spad­i­na Avenue 


For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact:

Jas­min Zeger