Oct 102013
 

Muraho,

Before I begin I again apologize for the writing style, I have so many things I want to talk about so it’ll be verbal diarrhea on a page! I am also very limited on time so this will be very quickly written.

Ok, so we left on the first day of the volunteering. The first week was pretty disappointing in terms of volunteering to be completely honest, they wanted us to get settled in but that meant very little work & we found ourselves asking for something to do. In terms of things to do however it was very exciting! We took many motor taxi’s, met women who are part of savings & loans, looked around markets, went to genocide memorials, learnt more of the language, went shopping, met the founder of FVA… phew!

Meeting the founder

Meeting Emaculee was wonderful, she picked us up from the guest house & took us to her church (which was a crazy experience!) then took us out to lunch at an american diner. There she told us about how she set up fva, this is her story.

Emaculee is a Dr & after the genocide when she was working in the hospital she found many people in need of help but not just medical unfortunately there were so many people she couldn’t sit down & talk to any of these people, which is what they needed, so she decided to create a space where they could receive some counseling & get a helping hand in rebuilding their life.

Emaculee enlisted Willy who is now the executive director of fva so she could continue her work as a doctor.

Willy

Willy is amazing! At one point during the first week he came & sat down with me to ask me how I was finding the program & to get to know me better. We spoke for a while & when he found out that I had been a fundraiser & fundraising manager he got so excited! He asked me to help with the fundraising program in any way possible so I proposed the idea of fundraising for them overseas so they could get long term monthly donations in & he asked for help with online fundraising. I have a meeting with him, Emaculee & victor (head of fundraising)  on monday. Wish me luck!!

Sonia

My volunteer coordinator is Sonia Mutoni & I adore her. Not only is she our support she is also a friend, she has helped us through getting lost in Kigali, our pronunciation of words, teaching us about Rwandan culture & she has always been there to have a laugh & make us feel comfortable. I really have no idea what I would do without her. Our beautiful, kind, compassionate Sonia <3

 

I realise I haven’t writted about this week or anything that you would care about, oh boy digression! This week was much better, we finally got stuck in & my project at the moment as well as fundraising is helping women market their jewellery, we decided to attach the stories of the women to separate their jewellery from others & I plan to go around to business & get their jewellery in there. Wish me luck!

On Saturday we went to 2 genocide memorials & I really want to take the time to talk about them as they are so heartbreaking.

Note; this will be difficult to read but it is so important that you do.

Ntarama

Ntarama is a church where 5000 people where killed. People fled to the church thinking that as it was a sacred building the Interahamwe & killers would let them be. They were wrong. First the bombed them with grenades then they walked in & killed them with clubs, machetes, spears & other weapons. Whilst they were killing the people in the church other killers walked into the sunday school where the children were hiding, they picked up the children by their legs & smashed their heads into a wall, there is still brain matter on the wall today. In Ntarama, they have left all the clothes of the victims on the pews, they have coffins full of 50 people & shelves full of skulls & bones. The only thing they have done to the church is put sheets of metal up around it to protect the buildings but other that that nothing has changed.

Nymata

Nymata is another church about 5 minutes drive away from Ntarama, again people thought that if they sought sanctuary in the church they would be safe. 10,000 people died here. The church was so full that the interahamwe could not physically get in so they threw grenades 7 started shooting blindly. When the majority where dead they climbed over the bodies in search for those still alive, mainly children, & they killed them with machetes & clubs. Just like Ntarama the clothing is left on the pews. There is a downstairs cavern that was created after the genocide in the church where there are a few bones & a big coffin which holds one body. This body is of a very special lady, she was 24 when she died & she is a symbol of strength to the Rwandan people. She was firstly raped by over 20 men & once they were done with her they got a spear, shoved it up her private parts & through her skull. She was Sonia’s grandmothers neighbor & she knew her well.

After walking around the church they take you into the mass graves which is as horrible as it sounds. You walk down stairs to coffins full of 100+ people each & 2 walls covered in skulls, you are enclosed in it & as shamed as I am to admit it I couldn’t handle this, the sights & the smell. That smell will stay with me for the rest of my life & as I said I couldn’t handle it, I just broke down & left although this did lead to a beautiful moment with a Rwandan lady who upon seeing me crying she stopped what she was doing, came up to me & tapped her heart. She understood what I felt even though I could never comprehend how she felt.

 

   

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