Many people equate Rwanda with genocide, having read the news or seen the movie “Hotel Rwanda” that tells of the 1994 killing of one million people, mostly ethnic Tutsis. However, after moving to Rwanda, Joel Olson has experienced a powerfully different story.

Joel is a TeachBeyond member who serves as an education advisor to Wellspring Foundation for Education and technical consultant to Wellspring Academy. He lives in Kigali, capital of Rwanda, with his wife, Amy, and three children. Prior to joining TeachBeyond he worked as a grade 6 and 7 teacher and educational leader in the Langley School District.

He talked about his Rwandan experience in a TEDx event in Langley, BC, called “The Future of Learning.” In his talk, Joel says the words that come to his mind are reconciliation and community. Rwanda is not defined by genocide, he says. The words that the Rwandan people gave him to describe their country are security, resiliency, hope, and transformation.

Watch this video of his talk to find out what three valuable lessons he learned from living in Rwanda.