I like to bring to light people who aren’t necessarily known to us, and show how strong some humans can be.
On April 6th, 1994, the Rwandan Genocide began.
This was just the beginning of three months which would result in bloodshed, slaughter and cold-blooded killing.
After President Juvenal Habyarimana’s plane was shot down, this was an opportunity for the Hutu regime to wipe out the Tutsis. Within hours of the plane being shot down, machetes were being used to kill many people all over.
One woman, though, survived.
Despite being hunted by Hutus, Immaculée hid in a bathroom with seven other women. A friend of the family had agreed to hide her.
For 91 days, Immaculée stayed in a cramped bathroom and heard her name being called by people arriving to kill her. The situation cannot even be imagined but the strength of this woman cannot be ignored.
When she emerged, Immaculée weighed just 65 pounds and was told most of her family had been brutally murdered in the genocide.
She believes that prayer kept her going as she prayed to a set of rosary beads her father gave her. Now she talks all over the world about faith, peace and forgiveness.
During the time in the bathroom, she taught herself English with only The Bible and a dictionary. When she was freed she gained a job with the UN.
She emigrated to the United States in 1998 to continue to work with the UN. After her colleagues commented how amazing her story was she decided to write it down and in 2006 published Left to Tell; Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust .
In 2007 she was awarded The Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace and received the American Legacy’s Women of Strength & Courage Award.
Admist this, The Left to Tell Charitable Fund was set up. “The Left to Tell Charitable Fund (LTTCF) relocates Rwandan orphans and offers support and communication outlets for the past pains and guilt of the tragic genocide. “I hope that one day we can laugh and move on holding hands despite the past,” Immaculée says. “Life has a lot to offer and a lot of love to give.”
She continues to spread her message of strength and forgiveness along with her faith.
Whether you believe in a faith or prayer, this woman should still be admired for her strength.
Whilst showing strength, she continues to remind the human race of history.