SPOKANE-- An African artist is in the Inland Northwest raising money for people suffering from heart disease in Rwanda.

Proceeds from his trip benefit a group of local doctors who volunteer there. They travel to Rwanda once a year to perform open heart surgery on people without medical resources.

To help with the expenses, Emmanuel Nkuranga is in Spokane selling his art for the next few days. His abstract paintings are bright and colorful.

Healing Hearts Northwest says Rwanda has a major problem with Rheumatic Heart Disease, which is caused by neglecting to treat Strep throat. In a country with ten million people, Rwanda has only four cardiologists to treat any and all cases.

'They put their heads together to bring this show happening here right now. I totally appreciate their efforts, and their energy, and their supportive ideas,' Nkuranga said.

Part of the proceeds from Nkuranag's paintings will go to help fund the trips to Africa and the supplies needed to perform the surgeries. The rest will support a non-profit that teaches art to children living in Rwandan orphanages.

The artworkwas scheduled to beon sale through Saturday, but it has been extended through Feb. 18.The show is at Dodson's Jewelers on West Riverside.

Healing Hearts Northwest's next trip to Rwanda is scheduled for April. The group's long-term goal is to create an independent cardiovascular program staffed by Rwandans.