Survivor’s story

By Jane Sutton-Redner

Just when I think I’ve heard all the amazing stories about Rwanda’s genocide, I come across another. In the current Winter magazine, Chantal Kagaba, a colleague in Rwanda, contributes a touching essay about how she forgave her mother’s murderer—and more than that, she and he became close friends.

Chantal Kagaba. (Andrea Peer/WV)

That’s just part of Chantal’s gripping story, the rest of which we put on the Web. When the killing began in 1994, Chantal’s husband was among the first victims. Grieving, seven months pregnant, and with her toddler daughter in tow, Chantal ran for her life. How she survived, kept her daughter alive, and birthed her son in the bush is compelling reading. An equally difficult journey was her emotional recovery years later, helped in part by World Vision workshops. Now Chantal courageously tells her tale to visitors in Rwanda (she met with Women of Faith speakers earlier this year) and wherever she goes.

When news of Rwanda’s genocide broke 15 years ago, it spoke only of incomprehensible human brutality. But in the years since, survivors like Chantal have enhanced the story, reminding us that the best of humanity—valor, faith, compassion, and resilience—can overcome even times of terror.

I invite you to read Chantal’s story. And share with us: What stories about Rwanda’s genocide have inspired you?

Related post: Dinner at the Hotel Rwanda (Sept. 3, 2009)

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1 Comment

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One response to “Survivor’s story

  1. Michael Bianchi told Chantal’s story this past week in Nashville at the WV Artist Associates’ Conference. It moved me deeply.

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