Ngunga Deogratius & Mugabo Richard


Mugabo Richard asks his elder about colonialism: How were they able to take control of Rwanda? What types of things did his father witness under colonialism? Why did this they decide to divide Rwandan society? Ngunga Deogratius describes the injustices he saw like poisoning of the water, burning of houses, needless slaughter of cattle, etc. Ngunga Deogratius describes the misunderstandings between the colonial settlers and indigenous people on issues like nutrition, religion, and ethnic divisions. He also tells his son of his time in a dangerous territory.

Tuyisenge Francine & Uwituze Yvette


Sisters Bayisenge Francine and Uwituze Yvette discuss romantic relationships. Because Bayisenge Francine is ten years older than Yvette and both happily married and well-educated, she has strong advice to offer to her younger sister. She stresses the importance of remaining independent, ambitious, and driven, despite temptations to marry early. Bayisenge Francine urges Uwituze Yvette to finish school before getting married so that she can not only receive a full education herself, but can also ensure that her husband values education as well.

Bubanje Rosalie & Rudasingwa Lorette


Rudasingwa Lorette and her mother, Bubanje Rosalie, discuss the secrets to a successful marriage. Rudasingwa Lorette has recently gotten married and admires her parents' marriage and asks her mother how she can recreate the success they have had in remaining together. Bubanje Rosalie offers her advice about keeping a happy household through mutual respect between spouses and similar expectations in marriage.

Mwumvaneza Vincent & Tambo Nelson


Tambo Nelson and his older brother Mwumvaneza Vincent discuss the colonial origins of the ethnic divide between Hutu and Tutsi. Mwumvaneza Vincent explains how, prior to colonialism, Rwanda was divided by wealth and status, not ethnicity, but the presence of colonial settlers and their institutions codified these differences and lead to ethnically divided political parties. Mwumvaneza Vincent wants Tambo Nelson to understand how violence and "genocide ideology" became present in Rwanda as a result of ethnic discrimination in education, work opportunities, and political rights.

Gahongayire Chantal & Mzagisenga Salima

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Sweeping very early in the morning used to be a girl’s task, and girls also hid themselves from the sight of others. Mzagisenga Salima is curious to hear from her mother these and other stories from Rwandan culture. Were they really schooled separately? Did boys mainly hunt? Gahongayire Chantal fills in these gaps, speaking not only about her own girlhood, but her mother’s as well. Mzagisenga Salima asks for more stories. Family stories about Mzagisenga Salima’s mother are told about a close mother-daughter bond, and about her grandmother’s great value for getting support from other women.

Mukakayonde Anna & Nyiranzeyimana Solange

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Nyiranzeyimana Solange comes to storytelling discontented about her life, wondering why she was left alone. Because she is young, she only knows the life she has right now, and cannot compare it to any other life, like the one during the genocide, and before. Could there have been a better life than this one, she asks her elder? Mukakayonde Anna works very hard to convince Nyiranzeyimana Solange that right now life is much better than before. In the same breath that she tells Nyiranzeyimana Solange that her relatives died in the genocide, she tries to bring hope.

Kabatesi Donatha & Kabatesi Binta Samantha


Binta Samantha asks her aunt, Kabalesi Donatha, to tell the story of her life so far. She learns that, while the aunt’s parents loved her, they could not easily support her love for school. So she married, but the marriage was difficult and ended, while health problems followed. But Kabalesi Donatha found that her faith was a great source of guidance to her, and she wishes to pass on this to her niece. Binta Samantha puts her dilemmas squarely to her aunt—that the life of a young person is full of temptations, especially when the yearning in Rwanda is so much for life!

Ufiteyezu Manzi David & Nyirahategekimana Marie Josie


Ufiteyezu Manzi David wants to tell his foster sister-cousin, Nyirahategekima Marie Josie, the story of his survival during the 1994 genocide and the fate of their extended family. She listens to details of his extraordinary story of many escapes from death, and the horrors he witnessed as a young boy. The story describes how his parents’ mixed marriage saved him, plus the outreach from persons of different backgrounds. Even cows were his salvation one awful day. Another time he was the only survivor of a bomb blast that killed over 100.

Mukarurangwa Judith & Karangwa Nadia


Stories For Hope created a forum for elders to inspire the youth; at least that’s what Mukakarangwa Judith and Karangwa Nadia expected when they accepted to share their story. In this story however, the roles reversed as an elder found encouragement and inspiration from her niece and adopted child who tries to point out how children now play together in Rwanda, even as their own parents were once enemies.

“I think that my child’s view has challenged even me.” Mukakarangwa Judith

Mukakarangwa Sarah & Ntamigemo Elias


Living in exile, Mukakarangwa Sarah was 15 when she was obligated to get married to a 28 year-old. After returning to Rwanda, Sarah found that her native country faced serious threats to its security and stability like ethnic political groups and divided ethnic populations. Sarah's life was further complicated by her in-laws' attempts to force her husband to remarry within his ethnic group and later her husband's death just weeks before Ntamigemo Elias' birth. Having survived the genocide she relies on her love for her children and her hopes for unity and reconciliation to keep her going.


SEPTEMBER 2014 - Archival Science 14 (Nos. 3-4, 2014): 275-306. Available here


OCTOBER 2014 - Founder and Director Patricia Pasick, Ph.D. has been honored as a 2014 Purpose Prize Fellow which recognizes “outstanding social innovators over aged 60 who are working to change the world by finding solutions to challenging social problems.“

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