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My Life Has Turned into a Hopeful One - Chantal Nimugire

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grew up and lived with my grandparent (0-6 years) and with my auntie (7-16 years) the whole of my childhood. My parents were living in other places. My mother was a single mother and I didn't know my father.

This was indeed a very sad and painful experience since

the families where I stayed did not care to provide for me. In this situation, I greatly realized the importance of staying with your parents.

Out of my situation, I developed love, care, compassion, and advocacy for the rights of other children, especially single mothers' children.

In 1994, my country experienced a tragedy of massacres and worst, genocide, that occurred in only 100 days. The genocide took my mother, brothers, and lots of members of my family. They were horribly killed.

Personally, I am a victim of both physical and moral abuse, and those memories still count fresh in me and others. During the genocide, I waited for death day and night, but by the grace of almighty God I saw his protection all day, night till dawn.

At 16 years of age in 1994, I was an adolescent, teenage girl, who had stayed alone, hopeless and traumatized. Life was meaningless to me. I remember one day I tried to commit suicide but I was so afraid to take my life because I thought that I have not done anything to be alive.

In this suffering, I sought God, and I asked him several questions. I asked God, why was I left? Why did I not die? Why was I left to stay in mourning? I could not sleep or even talk. But on 21 March 1995, God rescued my life in such a way that I received a salvation.

Since then, my life has turned into a hopeful one, visionary with objectives and determination to live a bright future, a life that advocates for the rights of other vulnerable children, young girls, and women.

This life indeed became meaningful. I continued my studies and obtained a Bachelor's degree in Management with distinction. I am married to a lovely husband and am the mother of three lovely children, a son and two daughters.

My objectives are the following:

* To write and publish my personal story
* To advocate for vulnerable women (single mothers, genocide survivors, widows), vulnerable children (especially single mothers' children and orphans), young girls, and Rwandan genocide survivors
* To fight violence against women and girls
* To promote women's development by creating small projects, training, and education.
* To promote peace and fight the genocide ideology
* To encourage women and young girls to gain hope and actively participate in peacebuilding programs

Chantel Nimugrie, Rwanda
May 2009

This story first appeared at Voices from the Frontlines on www.peacexpeace.org.

Editors note: This article is published by kind permission of Peace X Peace - A Global Network where women meet to build peace across cultures.


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mama watoto, you know me as Kim with Gifts of Life, 2009-08-01 07:54:59
-- Very sad, but inspiring story Chantal. I look forward to learning more about you. God bless you, your sister, Kim

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