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However, right after the genocide, she had to go back to school and together with her surviving family, had to start life afresh. Even amidst trauma they carried hope and never had the luxury to mourn their lost loved ones. Fast forward, she immediately got a job and rose up the ranks of her career in Human Resource, but with her life getting together, whenever she returned home, she would come to reality with her 10 year old self-the sad, and sorrowful that carried lots of questions.

With the desire to do humanitarian work and help young people, she was excited when she got a job at Agohozo-Shalom Youth Village as director of Human Resource, but through taking care of the younger people, she unknowingly reached out to herself. At the age of 32, her 10 year old self eventually got a platform to live and be heard.

However in the middle of the process, her father got very sick, and even though he recovered, his illness was the main contributor to her healing process.

I was tested to the limit — Rwanda genocide survivor | Africa Renewal

It was a red flag because I had developed many symptoms of PTSD like losing sleep, crying for no reason, losing interest in my hobbies, and whenever I slept I had nightmares. A booming career and happily married, life was supposed to be enjoyable at that time. That was when it hit me and I was obliged to go and take care of the year- old me.

It was then that her aunt took her to Neuro-psychiatric Hospital of Ndera for treatment. As part of her two- year therapy she began writing her story and everything she could remember.

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During my therapy class, I started to realize that most people need this. I started to think about my brother who was not in the country at the time, my aunts and friends. She immediately took a counselling class and learnt about the triggers and how one can help themselves.

As she began to share her story on healing with different people, she received very many messages of encouragement, another inspiration to continue to write and reach the wider audience. She has written her book in English because she wants to contribute to create awareness about mental health for people even outside Rwanda. She stayed after her lecture to sign books and discuss her talk with students. I would ask God… if you chose to take me today, I have tried my best. I have helped somebody. I have loved somebody. I have used the strength you gave me [with] them. Alix Sikorski, a student in Mrs.

April 7, marked the 25th anniversary of the beginning of the Rwandan genocide. President Paul Kagame addressed the nation, emphasizing healing and new beginnings.

How did it happen? Rwanda became a family once again. Share on Facebook. Share on Twitter. Share via Email. Close Modal Window Hang on for a minute Search About Calendar pollsarchive Staff. Close Back to Article.

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Then she remembered what a friend had told her: Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil by doing good. Uwimana first forgave herself for the anger and hate inside her. Then she gradually forgave those behind the genocide.

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She put her convictions to action in the ensuing years by going along with others from one village to another in her country, counseling and providing comfort to traumatized widows and rape victims. Often, the women she encountered were both, and quite a number struggled about caring or feeling love for children born from those sexual assaults.

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In , with help from her second husband, Wolfgang Reinhardt, Uwimana founded Iriba Shalom International, a nonprofit that provides material, spiritual and other support to fellow genocide survivors. Her mission in life is to help heal and unify the country, one person at a time, regardless of ethnicity.

The national commemoration of the genocide in Rwanda each April, and the disturbing accounts in her memoir, are critically important to acknowledge and share, Uwimana believes. Undated courtesy photo, circa May , of Denise Uwimana. Courtesy of Denise Uwimana Her tale of survival is hair raising.

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