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by Adriana Ramos

Who’s Rose?

Rose Mapendo is a Congolese woman from Banyamulenge Tutsi, a tribe from the High Plateauxregion of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In August 1998, a new rebellion broke out in eastern DRC. Banyamulenge and other Tutsi were attacked, killed orimprisoned. Her harrowing experience included the nighttime arrest of her entire familyby governmental agents, the execution of her husband, birth to their twin sons while inprison, and grim negotiations with prison guards to save the lives of her children. Thehorror finally ended when she and her family were rescued from a refugee camp.

The Mapendos currently live in Phoenix, Arizona. Since their relocation, they reside inan airy home on a quiet street. The children play basketball in the driveway andskateboard in front of the house. They attend the local schools, worship at the localchurch and work at local businesses. There is enough food on the table and new clothesfor everyone.Today they are worlds away from the death camp in South Kivu where they foundthemselves more than a decade ago.

Too many memories and too much hardship have left Rose with nothing else to do but fight for peace in her beloved country. As an internationalfigure in the effort to find peace in the DRC, Rose Mapendo is a towering figure representing the power of forgiveness to change the world. The United Nations and the White House, among others, have recognized her impassioned work. And yet Rose’sfaith in forgiveness is not limited to her work on the international stage. Her family comes first.

Pushing The Elephant is about inspiringaction in oneself and others, about spiritual redemption, about the power of forgiveness to not only mend divided cultures, but to heal the vengeful hatred engendered by persecution. The Film captures one of the most important stories of our age, a time when genocidal violence is challenged by the moral fortitudeand grace of one woman’s mission for peace.

In 2009, ROSE and her brother Dr. Kigabo Mbazumutima decided to form a foundation, witch would strive to create durable, sustainable health care efforts in the Great Lakes region of Africa,  MAPENDO NEW HORIZONS was born.

By the time it broadcasts, PUSHING THE ELEPHANT will have screened in more than 100 cities around the U.S. as part of Arts Engine efforts and theirs audience engagement campaign, ITVS’s Communtiy Cinema series, and the Human Rights Watch Traveling Film Festival.  It has been included at the Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and Columbia Law School, USC, Yale University’s Reblaw Conference, the Museum of Tolerance’s Human Rights Day celebration, and Brown University’s Global Health Initiative.

Earlier this month, at the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Womenthe Hungarian Mission to the UN and UN Women hosted a screening of PUSHING THE ELEPHANT and invited Rose Mapendo to speak with an audience comprised of delegates from numerous country missions including the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The film and Rose’s talk inspired a rare, open dialogue between Congolese women of all ancestral backgrounds, beginning with folded arms and ending with embraces.

For this many reasons, Pushing the Elephant has been selected to be show as one of the 50 films that will be preview at the International Women Film Festival, here in our CITY.

Tomorrow Saturday you could have the chance to preview this amazing documental and meet ROSE MAPENDO in person.


Hollywood Central Performing Arts Center

1770 Monroe Street

Hollywood, FL, FL 33030

Get your Tickets

The arrival of ROSE MAPENDO and Dr. Kigabo Mbazumutima was possible by the generous donation of a group of women in MIAMI, committed to PUSH THE ELEPHANT to our CITY.

“WOMEN TOGETHER” can change the world…one step at the time.

About Adriana Ramos

She holds a Bachelors Degree in International Relations from the Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico). She has worked in administrative, design, human resources, accounting, and analysis positions for companies as diverse as Avalon Steel Corporation, CSC Continuum-Computer Science Corporation (CSC), Laboratorios Chalber, in the public sector, Mexico’s Foreign Relations Ministry (S.R.E.); Social Media and Marketing Specialist for Non-Profit Organizations as U.S. National Committee of UN Women, East Florida Chapter and Founder Board Member of U.S. National Committee for UN Women Miami Chapter; Founding Board Member Arsht Families Culture for Kids. She is founder of ideas4solutions organization, which has several collaborators from Latin America.