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Genocide survival

Nyirasafari Leocadie & Mukiza Emmanuel

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Mukiza Emmanuel has many questions for his mother, Nyirasafari Leocadie, about her life before and after the war. Nyirasafari Leocadie describes her schooling, marriage, and raising children, and the hardships the family faced while living in exile. Mukiza Emmanuel is also eager to hear stories about his father and the grandfathers he never knew. Nyirasafari Leocadie tells him the lessons she learned from her father.

“During the war, I was then young. I would like to know about life during the war.” Mukiza Emmanuel

Umuraza Nassim & Isimbi Tresor

Because he seems older than his years and keeps asking her, Umuraza Nassim, a poet and peacemaker, finally decides to tell her son, Isimbi Tresor, the truth about what happened to his grandparents during the genocide. These memories were so painful and identities of the killers still remain unknown, so she has been unable to talk to her son about her family’s history until now. In telling her story, Umuraza Nassim describes the hardships that she went through during and after the genocide, and also explains the fate of Tutsis and the events leading up to the genocide.

Rwamucyo Denys & Hadasa Esther

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Hadasa Esther respects her uncle, Rwamucyo Denys, and wants to know his life history. Rwamucyo Denys tells her about the identity cards that they were forced to carry before the war and how his family fled to Burundi to escape violence. Hadasa Esther asks her uncle many questions about the nature of ethnic discrimination and he reminds her that “All of us are Rwandese” and should be united. Despite the many hardships Rwamucyo Denys has been through, he wants his niece to stay positive and always concentrate on doing what is right.

Murekatete Justine & Tuyiseuge Claudette

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Two sisters orphaned by genocide, Murekatete Justine and Tuyiseuge Claudette, discuss how they can recover from the trauma they endured. Tuyiseuge Claudette tells her sister of the trouble she has remaining motivated to stay in school and continue working for her future. Murekatete Justine responds with her own inspirational story about raising two children and her sister singlehandedly.

Muhizi Jean Claude & Masengesho Jean de Dieu

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Muhizi Jean Claude wants to inspire his friend Masengesho Jean de Dieu to be hopeful about the future by reflecting on how much has changed since his youth. Muhizi Jean Claude talks about how the segregation that existed in schools and how political instability contributed to the genocide. In answer to Masengesho Jean de Dieu’s question about ways for people to heal their emotional pain, Muhizi Jean Claude emphasizes youth breaking the cycle of ethnic discrimination.

Ufiteyezu Manzi David & Nyirahategekimana Marie Josie

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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

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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

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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.

Nyinawabagesera Amandine & Uwimana Jean Claude

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Nyinawabagesera Amandine wants to share some of her life stories, both good and bad, with her friend Uwimana Jean Claude so that he can learn from her example. After being orphaned by the genocide, Nyinawabagesera Amandine risked going to school without supplies. There, she overcame many challenges associated with depression, drugs, and alcohol through the support of friends and her faith. Nyinawabagesera Amandine says she is inspired by the people around her and resolves to help other orphans like herself who have almost lost all hope.

Bisangwa Simon & Kubwimana Jean d'Amour

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Kubwimana Jean d’Amour would rather listen to history from his father than read it in a history book “written by Frenchmen.” In this interview, he listens to Bisangwa Simon’s personal history for the first time, an experience that both men find beneficial. Bisangwa Simon has had a chaotic life; a high school dropout, he lived through several wars, overcame addiction to alcohol and drugs, and survived a curse. He tells his son how their family survived the genocide by supporting each other in hiding.

ARTICLE PUBLISHED

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

FOUNDER PASICK WINS PRESTIGIOUS PURPOSE FELLOW PRIZE

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.“
http://www.encore.org/patricia-pasick

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