Winonans Rally to Help Rwandan and the Able-Disabled

frederick at canvas final

Winonans first heard about Frederick Ndabaramiye at this year’s Frozen River Film Festival where he was the keynote speaker at the screening of  "I Am Able," a film about his incredible life story and his extraordinary artistic talent.   In 1998, when he was just fifteen, Frederick was dragged from a bus and attacked by Rwandan rebels. When he refused to kill fellow passengers the rebels hacked off his hands with machetes and left him for dead. Over time Frederick recovered from his wounds and remarkably, turned away from hate and anger and toward forgiveness and social action.  He also learned how to paint, deftly using the stumps of his arms to create colorful paintings of Rwandan village life.

Inspired both by his story and his art, a group of Winonans has come together to present "It Takes A Village," fundraising events that will benefit the Ubumwe Community Center, a school of empowerment in Gisenyi, Rwanda. The center encourages disabled kids and adults to discover their abilities and learn skills that help them build a new life for themselves.  Of note, it‘s a school that Frederick co-founded and guides on a daily basis.

On May 2nd from 5-8 PM, the Mid West Music Store (168 East 3rd St in Winona) will host the Opening of a month-long gallery showing of Frederick’s extraordinary paintings.  At the event, the Frozen River Film Festival will screen the short-film, "I Am Able". The event is free to the public.  Proceeds from the sale of Frederick’s original paintings, high quality prints, notecards, and Rwandan village handcrafted art objects will go to Frederick and the Ubumwe Community Center.
And on May 25th from 7-9 PM, Café Congo will host a benefit jazz concert featuring the ‘WSU Faculty Jazz Combo & Friends’ with a $10 suggested donation to benefit the Ubumwe Community Center.

Please come and enjoy the beautiful artwork and the music and help an inspiring young man to continue his efforts in helping empower the disabled to believe that they are indeed able.

What: ‘It Takes a Village’ – Village Paintings by Frederick Ndabaramiye.
Where/When: Gallery and Film Showings / Mid West Music Store – 168 East 3rd St. / May 2 – 26 (Tues-Fri 12-8, Sat 10-6)
Opening Event: Mon, May 2, 5-8 PM. 
Closing Event: Thu, May 26 5-8 PM

What: ‘It Takes A Village’ Jazz Benefit Event with WSU Faculty Jazz Combo & Friends.
Where/When: Café Congo / First Congregational Church – 161 W. Broadway / Wed. May 25 7-9 PM
Why: To benefit the Umbumwe Community Center in Gisenyi, Rwanda. (

Contact: Jacob Grippen, Mid West Music Store
Steve Bachler, Cafe Congo,

Mid West Music Store is a member of the River Arts Alliance.

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