Motilal Oswal
  • SENSEX
    NIFTY 50
Motilal Oswal
Unwind

Now grown up: The Rwandan genocide orphans who found a bigger family

Updated : April 05, 2019 09:28 PM IST

Vincent de Paul Ruhumuriza was born in Rwanda just a few months before genocide consigned his father to an unknown grave and traumatized his mother so badly she still screams and shakes at any mention of that time.

But, helped by a model of healing dating back to the Holocaust, the 25-year-old has finished his education and blended into a new family, where individuals grieving lost loved ones have rebuilt their lives by caring for each other.

Then, in 2014, just as Ruhumuriza was about to drop out, his school got in touch with the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village, whose Hebrew-Kinyarwandan name translates as "the place where tears are dried".

The village was set up in 2008 by a South African-born lawyer, Anne Heyman, who had worked in the United States. Heyman and her husband raised more than $12 million to help care for families ripped apart by the genocide, taking their model from Israel's Youth Villages, which created new families for children whose parents had died in the Holocaust.

Rwanda's genocide, sparked by the assassination of the president, lasted around 100 days and stopped after rebels fought their way to the capital, led by Paul Kagame, Rwanda's current ruler.

More than 95,000 children were orphaned, the United Nations estimates, and around 300,000 children were killed. For some of the survivors, Heyman's village offered healing and purpose.

Mukarusagara Emerithe, a genocide survivor and one of the caretakers at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) built to rehabilitate children who lost their families in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, walks at the facility in Rwamagana, Eastern Province of Rwanda April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana
Mukarusagara Emerithe, a genocide survivor and one of the caretakers at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) built to rehabilitate children who lost their families in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, walks at the facility in Rwamagana, Eastern Province of Rwanda April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana
Mukarusagara Emerithe, a genocide survivor and one of the caretakers at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) built to rehabilitate children who lost their families in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, uses a mobile phone to show a photograph of her husband killed during the genocide in Rwamagana, Eastern Province of Rwanda April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana
Mukarusagara Emerithe, a genocide survivor and one of the caretakers at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) built to rehabilitate children who lost their families in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, uses a mobile phone to show a photograph of her husband killed during the genocide in Rwamagana, Eastern Province of Rwanda April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana
Residents rehearse a dance at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) built to rehabilitate children who lost their families in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in Rwamagana, Eastern Province of Rwanda April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana
Residents rehearse a dance at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) built to rehabilitate children who lost their families in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in Rwamagana, Eastern Province of Rwanda April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana
Residents rehearse a dance at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) built to rehabilitate children who lost their families in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in Rwamagana, Eastern Province of Rwanda April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana
Residents rehearse a dance at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) built to rehabilitate children who lost their families in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in Rwamagana, Eastern Province of Rwanda April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana
Chairs and tables are arranged in the dining hall at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) built to rehabilitate children who lost their families in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in Rwamagana, Eastern Province of Rwanda April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana
Chairs and tables are arranged in the dining hall at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) built to rehabilitate children who lost their families in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in Rwamagana, Eastern Province of Rwanda April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana
Residents wash their laundry at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) built to rehabilitate children who lost their families in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in Rwamagana, Eastern Province of Rwanda April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana
Residents wash their laundry at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) built to rehabilitate children who lost their families in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in Rwamagana, Eastern Province of Rwanda April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana
Mukarusagara Emerithe, a genocide survivor and one of the caretakers at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) built to rehabilitate children who lost their families in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, poses for a photograph with some other genocide survivors in Rwamagana, Eastern Province of Rwanda April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana
Mukarusagara Emerithe, a genocide survivor and one of the caretakers at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) built to rehabilitate children who lost their families in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, poses for a photograph with some other genocide survivors in Rwamagana, Eastern Province of Rwanda April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana
Laundry is aired to dry on a grass at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) built to rehabilitate children who lost their families in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in Rwamagana, Eastern Province of Rwanda April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana
Laundry is aired to dry on a grass at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) built to rehabilitate children who lost their families in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in Rwamagana, Eastern Province of Rwanda April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana
Residents eat a meal in the dining hall at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) built to rehabilitate children who lost their families in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in Rwamagana, Eastern Province of Rwanda April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana
Residents eat a meal in the dining hall at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) built to rehabilitate children who lost their families in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in Rwamagana, Eastern Province of Rwanda April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana
Ruhumuriza Vincent De Paul, who was orphaned by genocide, puts a meal on a plate in the dining hall at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) built to rehabilitate children who lost their families in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in Rwamagana, Eastern Province of Rwanda April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana
Ruhumuriza Vincent De Paul, who was orphaned by genocide, puts a meal on a plate in the dining hall at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) built to rehabilitate children who lost their families in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in Rwamagana, Eastern Province of Rwanda April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana
Mukarusagara Emerithe, a genocide survivor and one of the caretakers at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) built to rehabilitate children who lost their families in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, puts a meal on a plate in the dining hall in Rwamagana, Eastern Province of Rwanda April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana
Mukarusagara Emerithe, a genocide survivor and one of the caretakers at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) built to rehabilitate children who lost their families in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, puts a meal on a plate in the dining hall in Rwamagana, Eastern Province of Rwanda April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana
Live TV

Ask Our Experts CNBC TV18

Send your queries on investments and have them answered by our experts

Enter your details

Post