Aid work in genocide

When: Wed., April 18, 7 p.m. 2012

From the press release:
Carl Wilkens, the only American aid worker to remain in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide, will be speaking about his experiences at IUPUI on April 18th at 7PM in Campus Center room 409.

Wilkens started working as a humanitarian aid worker with the Adventist Church in Rwanda in 1990. When the genocide began in 1994 he refused to leave despite the urges from friends, family, and the United States government. Wilkens was left alone in the middle of genocide with only his heart to guide him.

In spite of the violence Wilkens frequented the bloody streets, which popped with gunfire and exploding mortars. He braved the roadblocks of soldiers armed with rifle and machete so that he could deliver food, water, and medicine to the orphans of Rwanda’s ongoing genocide. His direct efforts saved the lives of hundreds of children.

In 2004 Wilkens was featured in the PBS Frontline special, “Ghosts of Rwanda,” which documented the genocide. After many pleas to share his experience and with the ongoing genocide in Darfur making constant headlines, Wilkens and his wife decided to found the non-profit “World Outside My Shoes.” Since then Wilkens and his non-profit have been working to “inspire and equip people to stand up against genocide, racism, bullying, and other forms of intolerance.” Sharing his experiences from the Rwandan genocide have become the backdrop for which Wilkens bases his inspirational speeches as he advocates against all genocide.

Wilkens has been featured in the New York Times, PBS, NPR, and has been praised by many institutions including the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Save Darfur Coalition, and Genocide Intervention Network.

The Council on Strategic and International Affairs is an independent nonpartisan student think tank located at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Follow the Council on Strategic and International Affairs on twitter @CSIA_IUPUI or find us at For more information please contact the CSIA at

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