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