Opinion

Life in Rwanda today

Updated 10:17 AM ET, Mon April 7, 2014
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Rwanda is nicknamed the Land of a Thousands Hills for its countryside dotted with mountains, volcanoes and hillocks. "There are some places that touch you and touch you quickly. Rwanda was one of those places," says aid worker LeAnn Hager, who lived there between 2012 and 2014. Courtesy Kim Pozniak/Catholic Relief Services
During the Rwanda genocide in 1994, Fidele Mparikubwimana killed 10 members of Esperance Mugemana's family. He later spent 10 years in prison. After Mparikubwimana asked her forgiveness and the pair participated in a reconciliation program, Mugemana found it within herself to forgive him. They now live as neighbors. Courtesy Kim Pozniak/Catholic Relief Services
Many women lost their husbands and children in the genocide. Today, there are about 50,000 genocide widows in Rwanda who live in communities established specifically for them so they can support each other. Courtesy Helen Blakesley/Catholic Relief Services
Through immense personal strength and forgiveness, many survivors and perpetrators of the genocide have found a way to live together in peace. Courtesy Kim Pozniak/Catholic Relief Services
While many perpetrators and survivors have found peace, speaking to their children about what happened is still difficult for most people. Courtesy Kim Pozniak/Catholic Relief Services
Leann Hager, Catholic Relief Services country representative in Rwanda until 2014, speaks with a local bishop about working together to reconcile communities after the genocide. Courtesy Kim Pozniak/Catholic Relief Services
Historians have recorded only some of the names of the people lost in the 100 days of violence in 1994 that killed nearly 1 million people. This wall at the Kigali Genocide Memorial in the country's capital is an on-going project. Courtesy Kim Pozniak/Catholic Relief Services
The Murambi Genocide Memorial in southern Rwanda includes graphic displays of the brutality of the genocide. People were killed after seeking refuge at this school under construction. At the memorial, victims bodies have been preserved to reflect the manner of their deaths. Courtesy Kim Pozniak/Catholic Relief Services
A preserved mass grave at Murambi Genocide Memorial serves as a stark reminder of the atrocities of genocide and the oft-quoted pledge, "Never again." Courtesy Kim Pozniak/Catholic Relief Services