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Memories of Genocide Drive Rwandans in Rebuilding their Nation

April 10, 2014 by

In a file photo, Nathalie Piraino (right) speaks with CRS staffer Kia Hill in 2009. Photo by Jim Stipe/CRS

In a file photo, Nathalie Piraino (right) speaks with CRS staffer Kia Hill in 2009. Photo by Jim Stipe/CRS

Dennis Sadowski of Catholic News Service writes about Nathalie Piraino, a native of Rwanda and former Baltimore resident, who lost more than 100 family members in the Rwandan genocide 20 years ago. She describes what she has seen in her years of returning to her homeland. From Catholic News Service, posted on the National Catholic Reporter:

Every time Nathalie Piraino returns home to Rwanda, she sees a country advancing economically and politically and where the development of people, especially women, is foremost.

She also has found that memories from her homeland’s genocide 20 years ago remain vivid, not forgotten.

Piraino, who worked for one year at Catholic Relief Services and whose husband, Dave, was the agency’s country representative in Rwanda from 1978 to 1981, lost more than 100 family members during the genocide….

Piraino was living in Baltimore when ethnic Hutu militia and soldiers attacked minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus. She recalled the last conversation she had with her mother: a phone call near Easter, which fell three days before the onset of genocide.…

“It was tough for many years,” she said. “But when I went back in 2005 for my internship, the country was developed. It was different than the Rwanda I lived in before.”

Read the full article on the National Catholic Reporter.

Related articles:
Acts of Reconciliation: A Collection of Articles on the 20th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide
After Horrific Genocide, Building Reconciliation in Rwanda

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