In preparation for my trip to Rwanda, I thought I’d better do a bit of research on the
Rwandan Genocide. I admit that I have heard about it, but I really don’t know all that happened. Some of the basic details I was ignorant of.
I have to admit that when I really dug into it I was shocked. I had no idea what a tragedy this was and what an impact it would have on future generations.
I won’t begin to explain what has already been explained in many articles, but I will just outline the tragedy that occurred in such a short period of time. I can barely comprehend the numbers of deaths and the capability of human beings to do such horrific things to each other.
Here’s a quick summary on the Rwandan Genocide and a great informative link with a more thorough report.
In just over 3 months beginning around April 7th, 1994 (about 100 days), 800,000 – 1,000,000 Africans were slaughtered in the Rwanda Genocide. It was one of the worst atrocities in modern time. As a result many families were left desperately poor and kids (who survived) were left without parents having to fend for themselves. 20 years later, families are still struggling with minimal opportunity and lack of basic resources (like water).
My wife and I sponsor a few kids from Africa and two of them are from Rwanda. Our boy, Jean de Dieu – about 20 years old – has been directly effected by the Genocide. Both of his parents were slaughtered and his sisters were left to raise him. I believe Jean was too young to remember, but his older sister suffers from mental trauma even to this day. I can’t imagine what the dear woman has gone through. The sisters have worked hard to sustain themselves with what little resources they have. They have managed to build their own small home, and our support puts Jean through school. He wants to learn a trade to help support his family in the future.
When we’re down in Rwanda in a few weeks we hope for the opportunity to meet their family as we have been writing letters back and forth for about 3 years now.
The Vita Keyhole Garden Trip is going to build Keyhole Gardens for Rwandans to provide sustenance, health and a local economy.