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Rwandan culture

Mukagatare Laetitia & Uwihoreye Seraphine

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Uwihoreye Seraphine asks her aunt, Mukagatare Laetitia for advice on dating, intimate relationships, and the meaning of personal faith. Mukagatare Laetitia talks about her own adolescence and stresses the importance of women obtaining an education before they start worrying about men. Aunt and niece discuss Rwandan gender norms and Uwihoreye Seraphine learns how to protect herself in future relationships.

Murekatete Adrie & Umuhoza Alexie

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Murekatete Adrie, Umuhoza Alexie’s aunt, wants to tell her niece about a former classmate who was orphaned in the genocide. Although lucky enough to be adopted and be given an education, she got in trouble at university by becoming involved with a young man who left her after she became pregnant by him. She wants to warn Umuhoza Alexie to avoid temptations and concentrate on her studies. “I am sure you cannot suffer when you have education.”

Habineza Pascal & Irakarama Joselyne

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Irakarama Joselyne’s uncle, Habineza Pascal, is passionate about the value of a cow, and enthusiastically answers all of her questions regarding this Rwandan culture. Although she already understands the benefits of a cow, she does not fully understand the value of a cow. Irakarama Joselyne wants to know the reason why dowry is almost always done with a certain number of cows, and her uncle explains the significance of this transaction. He even touches upon an example of a government program called “one cow per family,” a system that helps fight poverty and malnutrition.

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.

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

Karangwa Emmanuel & Ndahiro Jean Marie Vianney

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Vianney snuck out of Rwanda to Burundi by crawling through forest surrounded by an army. He had a plan to join the forces that were fighting the genocide. When he got to Burundi, he forgot this plan and spent his time replenishing with food that had been donated to the refugee camp where he lived. He got his wakeup call when he was visited by a man he would never forget. The legacy he hopes to leave with his brother is that of a nation that rebuilds its cultural institutions and relies on its youth to think like heroes.

Kajuga Augustin & Nkurikiyimana Ignace

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Kajuga Augustin, born in 1939, has much to tell Nkurikiyimana Ignace about Rwanda before colonialism: the history of kings and how power was transferred from one to another, how young people were treated differently by their mothers versus their fathers, and how they were joined in marriage. He recounts how some practices are thankfully outdated, like drowning unmarried, pregnant women, while some celebrate values that are still positive, such as respect and cooperation.

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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