Stories of the Genocide: Fifi
When Fifi came to the Rwanda Youth Healing Center she was severely depressed. She says “I was always crying. I was hopeless about life because I thought was alone on the earth.” Fifi lost her parents at age 10 during genocidal violence. She was young, and couldn’t understand why her friends and neighbors suddenly turned on her family. “Hutus were our friends. I was even about to be baptized and my Godmother who was a nun, is the one who gave up my mother (to the killers).” For this about-face she blames politicians. “They are the ones who brainwashed our people to slash our parents, brothers and friends.”
Fifi says she knows who killed her mother. She heard from many in her community that he confessed on the radio, but when it came to his day in gacaca courts… Fifi says he lied.
Still stinging from the murderous betrayals, Fifi admits she’s not sure if she can forgive in the same way as many of her peers. “When a killer comes and asks for forgiveness and if it’s from his heart, you can forgive him. But when he killed your people and avoids you, that means he could also kill you if he’s able.” It’s with this in mind that she says she will never feel fully safe in her own country. She cries when she admits she believes the genocide could happen again “A savage heart is still there. That’s the way I see it. So I am always ready because I know that it can happen anytime. “
Despite the horrors and understandable trust issues, Fifi is finding the strength to go to law school. Her ultimate goal? Stand up for orphans and children. “The fact that I’m at university that I’m studying, just gives me hope. Yes, it’s hard and difficult, but it gives me hope.”
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