Peace and security to me don't start with weapons, but with social values and principles

Kadablah
Posted October 17, 2018 from Rwanda

At my first sight of life in a refugee camp, I could feel more secure by filling my stomach, from climbing an active volcano to digging into mice holes searching for the ones that are alive, not worried about them biting me, but trying to do my job carefully as catching them alive was the only way I could make money by selling them to the boss, mice buyer, who to me was like an icon of peace in my stomach because by the time I could deliver mice alive, he would pay me, and I was able to feed myself… that time, security to me was 'to satisfy my hunger'.

Back to my country, a post-war period, living in a place covered with land mines all over my favorite play grounds and all forests where I was fetching firewood, knowing that by any step I make I could lose my leg, by any touch I could lose my arm, by any movement I make unconsciously I could be transformed into invisible pieces and be lost, with all radio adverts warning us about not playing with mines, and moving around all places covered by Danger of Death signs all over and over, security to me has henceforth been 'to be mindful'.

Growing up and becoming an adolescent girl who values beauty as it’s defined by the external world every day, the one for which I would rather be hungry than missing it, was my hair, straight, stylish in the line of what trends were there in hair styles; among my insecurities was not being able to do so… until the day I had to feel insecure beyond being insecure, sleeping in an open space, 12 Celsius degrees, with no cover, the whole night with no sleep, remembering all my ups and downs, all the things I’ve been able to overcome from the inside ground of mice holes to eating other rodents to starving for long time that I couldn’t even remember, but all of them didn’t make me feel insecure than that one night in the middle of nowhere simply because that one day, while in the evening, the hands of my hair maker in the middle of my head, I realized that I didn’t have enough money to pay for that specific hair style she was making for my hair, and that was the time everything changed, the conversation changed from laughter to how might we make sure I don’t leave without paying for their service… the decision was simple, sleeping in that place and wait for the next day to get someone who could send me extra money to add on the one I carried and be able to leave that place… it was a night full of thinking, feeling the loneliness and hearing imaginary terrifying voices from everywhere, the most insecurity I ever felt was that mental one… That’s the time I’ve cut my hear, felt so good to be the master of my own beauty... and since then, security to me is 'self-acceptance, confidence and living a life out of worries about what the external world think I should do with my life, to be able to be on top of my life, my own decisions for my future'.

By not only being a child of my family, but also a child of the community, shifting from one home to another, my worries involved having a hygienic and safe toilet and not risking getting a bunch of boys to harass and almost rape me at each time I need to do my basic hygiene needs, worried to meet this same guy standing in the middle of my way to the toilet, hence all I fought for was to live in a house with an indoor toilet, which could always sound crazy to my friends, but that was the only way I could feel my inner safety; that way, security to me became 'to be able to afford my basic physical and mental needs'.

All along my journey, despite all sort of insecurities I felt, the common one was not being able to tell my worries without being judged, harassed or controverted… I only feel at peace when I know that I can find an empathetic ear ready to listen, listen and listen to me. And that way I always provide the ear of my heart ready to listen to others effectively because I know how it feels to not find a listening ear and an understanding heart. For me 'peace comes from the connection in social values and satisfaction in my emotional needs'.

For a stable and peaceful society that I want, it has to be made of individuals with social values and principles that are traditionally upheld and passed on within a family… Therefore I chose to use Kosmotive, my organization, as a medium to advocate for 'Love, Trust, Empathy, Tolerance and Altruism' as basic values from within families for a peaceful society I work for.

Connect with us to build a stable and peaceful society from within the families:

Kosmotive site | Kosmotive on Twitter | Kosmotive on Facebook

This post was submitted in response to The Future of Security Is Women .

Comments 27

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Sis. Salifu
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Hi Kada,
I hope is okay I call you kada...? Nice piece about your enthusiasm to make changes in your live. Actually, we need courage to manifest such qualities, like boldness, confidence etc.

These wonderful qualities I guess have shaped you to such a beautiful person :-)
Ooh which haircut was it? I mean on your pictures, the one you were ready to sleep in the saloon? I will love to see how it look?

Thanks for sharing.
Regards
Lisbeth

Kadablah
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Hi Lisbeth,
It's okay to call me that way ;) thank you for this encouraging comment.
That time I had straightened my hair, not in those pictures, but it's a period before that picture with big afro,

thanks!

Ngala Nadege
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Hello Kada,
I do understand you and how it feels to live in a "world" like that. When I go through post like this I feel bad for everyone in that area . I wonder why it's so difficult to put down weapons .
But I admire your courage .thanks for sharing

Kadablah
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Thanks Nadege

Olutosin
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

My sister, for the past two days, I have been reading about Rwanda genocide through Humans of New York page on Facebook.
He is touring Africa. He left Nigeria to Ghana, now in Rwanda since yesterday.
I was weeping profusely. Its not my first time of reading about the Tutsi and Hutu but I just find it hard to control myself, each time I read about what we do to one another in this world.

Sometimes, peace if just the silence, No soumd of guns, bomb or grenades, sometimes, its just to enter a clean toilet to do it.

We need it.
We deserve peace
We can achieve it.
If, we work on ourselves.

Thank you for sharing your story with us.
I say Never again.
.love, my sister.

Kadablah
Oct 22, 2018
Oct 22, 2018

Thanks so much my sister Olutosin,

Yes, we can achieve it if we work on ourselves...
and as you say, genocide, Never again!

Thanks

Ngwa Damaris
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 17, 2018

Hi Kadablah. It’s sad that we live in such a cold world. Thanks to people like you who are trying so hard to raise awareness thereby advocating for peace. May God richly bless you.One thing is certain, after the rain, comes the sun

Kadablah
Oct 22, 2018
Oct 22, 2018

That's true my dear sister, after the rain comes the sun.

Thanks Damaris

Adanna
Oct 18, 2018
Oct 18, 2018

Dear Kada,

Thank you for sharing your story.

A good support system is very important no matter how 'strong' one may be.

Often, people judge others without knowing what they are going through or what they have been through but when you have someone who listens to you without judging you, it feels really good.

Love,
Adanna

Kadablah
Oct 22, 2018
Oct 22, 2018

Thanks my sister Adanna,
it really helps

ARREY - ECHI
Oct 18, 2018
Oct 18, 2018

Dear Kadablah,

Thank you so much for this beautiful peace.
I love the way you worked your way towards understanding what peace and security means to you from satisfying your most basic needs to your emotional needs.

I wholly agree with you that social values and principles are the harbingers of peace and security. History has proven countless times that weapons do not bring peace but sadly, we seem not to want to learn.

Your words are a reflection of what I read this morning on the Humans of New York (HONY) series on Rwanda how so many courageous men and women couldn't push aside their values in the face of human loss and misery, risking death to save others.

Sorry about the ordeal you had to face in doing your hair but I must applaud you for rising above that to be a strong confident woman.

Curious of your first picture. Were you a child soldier?

I did enjoy the break down and story of what security means to you. Keep imapcting,
Love,
Arrey

Kadablah
Oct 22, 2018
Oct 22, 2018

Thank you my sister Arrey,

It's from values upheld from their families or society that some could take risks to provide a safe environment to others and maintain peace.

About the first picture, I wasn't a child soldier, I was attending a program designed for high school graduate in their gap year, where we had to go in remote camps and stay for one month, learning about the history of Rwanda and the work of the government, singing and dancing, doing community work and military exercises together.

jlanghus
Oct 18, 2018
Oct 18, 2018

Hi Kadablah,

Thanks so much for sharing a glimpse of your interesting, but tumultuous upbringing. I'm glad you realized early on, though, that self acceptance and confidence are a major form of security. That's very wise of you.

I agree that peace starts within the family. What is "Kosmotive?"

Kadablah
Oct 22, 2018
Oct 22, 2018

Thanks JLanghus,

Kosmotive is my social enterprise, short for Kosmos Creative. I tried to edit and add 'my organization' to make it more clear. is it enough that way to clear confusions or I would make some other changes?

jlanghus
Oct 22, 2018
Oct 22, 2018

Oh, I see. Cool name:)

Oh, yes, it's clearer now. Thank you!

You could add your website and/or social media pages so we can like/follow them:-)

Hope you're having a good day!

Kadablah
Oct 22, 2018
Oct 22, 2018

thank you so much Jill

jlanghus
Oct 23, 2018
Oct 23, 2018

You're welcome:-)

Jane Frances Mufua
Oct 19, 2018
Oct 19, 2018

Hello Kadablah,

Thnaks for sharing part of your life with us. I am happy despite all the odds you have been able to make. I strongly agree with you that peace and security is about values. There is a common saying that charity begins at home. The family makes the society. When we don't experience love at that little nucleus call the family, then we will emit hate into the community.

Kadablah
Oct 22, 2018
Oct 22, 2018

It's very true that saying my dear Jane, we grow what we experience the most of the time, and what grew in us from our families make our society.

thank you

Sarah Dan-Legogie
Oct 19, 2018
Oct 19, 2018

Dear sister I relate.......but you know you are a tough cookie! But look it made you brave, self confident and reliant. All those experiences put together would birthed Kosmotive and it's amazing to know what values are built just by your experiences. Thank you for passing through and selflessly share.Your trials were gifted but the best part is you have converted them to trumphs

Kadablah
Oct 22, 2018
Oct 22, 2018

Thank you so much my sister Sarah

Jacqueline Namutaawe
Oct 22, 2018
Oct 22, 2018

Oh Kadablah this is such a story thumbs for the powerful woman you are and for expounding on the different avenues of what peace means to you based on the life events you have undergone.

Kadablah
Oct 22, 2018
Oct 22, 2018

Thank you Jacqueline

Princesse Malembero
Oct 23, 2018
Oct 23, 2018

Bonjour Kadablash,
Juste vous encourager de votre initiative d'avoir créer Kosmotive et vous souhaiter une bonne chance. Merci d'avoir partager votre histoire

Kadablah
Oct 24, 2018
Oct 24, 2018

Merci beaucoup ma soeur Princesse

Obisakin Busayo
Oct 24, 2018
Oct 24, 2018

Hello Kada
Your article is so inspiring! The way you highlight the number of things that security means to you. Tank you so much for sharing

Love
Busayo

Kadablah
Oct 25, 2018
Oct 25, 2018

thanks my sister Busayo