The Dangers of Silence
The New York Times Business section on Sunday, October 10, 2010 profiles Patricia Pasick, Director of Stories for Hope in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The foundation was started to help Rwandans tell their stories from the 1994 genocide.
After his entire family was killed in the genocide, a Rwandan secretary general asked Ms. Pasick, who was visiting the country at the time, “What do I tell my children as they get older?” Ms. Pasick reports that he was worried that when his children learned about their grandparents’ deaths, the stories would traumatize them.
“As a family therapist, I knew that it would be damaging if people remained quiet,” Ms. Pasick said. “We learned from the Holocaust that many in the next generation really suffered from the silences. If you don’t know what happened in the past, your mind can distort the facts. These distortions can create a disturbing intergenerational legacy.”
Consequently, Ms. Pasick created Stories for Hope to train counselors and conduct interviews with Rwandian survivors. “We hope to bring balanvce to stories of loss so that survivors don’t think they’ve lost all he richness in their lives and culture.”
Here is the link to the project: http://storiesforhope.org/