Angelique, a 22-year-old Uyisenga N’Manzi beneficiary, is an orphaned survivor who heads a household with 6 of her younger siblings. Following the 1994 genocide, Angelique was left with no home and few adult relatives to guide or care for her and her remaining family. Though she suffered from hunger, thirst, and mental trauma, she attempted to remain in school, but later was forced to leave so as to continue caring for her family. Soon after, she came in contact with Uyisenga N’Manzi representatives, who worked going door-to-door to meet with orphaned youth survivors. Through their guidance and overwhelming support, Angelique and her family achieved self-sustainability both economically and emotionally, through various agricultural programs, like cassava and pineapple cultivation, as well as psychiatric assistance, which took place through various solidarity camps as well as one-on-one therapeutic sessions with trained psychologists. When asked what her life would be like without Uyisenga N’Manzi, Angelique explained that her family would be nowhere near where they are now and that the emotional support has been a pillar in the reconstruction of their fragile lives, while the economic empowerment has provided her family with a higher standard of living than they ever dreamed possible.
We would like to testify on behalf of Grace from Rwanda, female, 22 years old.
“I have been orphaned by genocide and survived with my two sisters. We have lived without food, shelter, clothes, etc. I was much traumatized and had attempted to end to my life. A friend of mine has helped me meeting UYISENGA N’ MANZI Psychologist who took care of me and I recovered”. Some days after being identified, she was followed carefully by a Social Worker and went back to school. She is very proud to announce that she graduated from secondary school, and can plan for university studies; she even apply for temporary jobs and can solve many personal and family problems. Since April 2010, she has been selected to participate in a three session training with a support program with UYISENGA N’ MANZI from which she has become a professional Photographer, Video Maker, and Trainer. She got a nice camera which is very useful in making wonderful photos. She gained photography experience in various activities such as wedding, birthday party’s, and meetings. The training she attended with three other colleagues; Emmanuel from Nyanza, Gisele from Kigali, and Moses from Rwamagana, was a success project. They have established an association, got support from CAFOD and UYISENGA N’MANZI. They are becoming a team which is well committed and dedicated to making change in the photography and editing field, and would train children and young adults to take successful photos. Her testimony is given to you in order to let you know that light can appear after a darkness situation; hope can succeed depression. The only way for Grace has been,” finding a right way, finding right people to talk to, accepting to be supported, and to struggle for living”.
It is my pleasure to share my testimony of my experiences with the Uyisenga N’Manzi organization, which has assisted me since 2006. Although I am not the head of a household, I am an occupant of a Uyisenga N’Manzi village house and I am a student. Uyisenga N’Manzi has helped me in many ways, with regards to my academics, my feelings of loneliness, and most importantly, they have instilled in me a great hope for my future. The organization builds a personal connection with its beneficiaries by approaching each individual’s differing needs and taking the time to involve members in their various projects and programs. Some of the assistance they offer us includes paying schools fees, health insurance, counseling, facilitating income generating projects, and caring for orphans, widows, and widowers. All of these programs culminate in the rehabilitation of our lives. Through the support of the organization, I am able to live a full and fulfilling life. I have been able to achieve A-Level distinction in my studies, and am now attending university! My only wish for the organization is that they help the thousands of orphans throughout the country who would benefit, as I have, from their various programs. Thank you, Uyisenga N’Manzi, for everything you have done for my life and my bright future!
Uyisenga N’Manzi has helped me to help myself. I first came into contact with Uyisenga N’Manzi in 2002, at their opening party. There, we were introduced to all the members of the organization and its various committees, as well as their mission and goals. Shortly after, Uyisenga N’Manzi came to my home and offered me a job as a receptionist in their small Internet café. In 2004, I was reappointed to work in their main office. In addition to offering me economic stability, my brothers and sisters were offered monetary assistance for their school fees, as well as psychosocial support to overcome their grief and trauma, for which I am most thankful. Today, Uyisenga N’Manzi is helping me complete my secondary school studies so I can finish my national examinations. I can now dream of a future at a university! Above all, the most important gift Uyisenga N’Manzi has given me and my family is the gift of joy.
I am grateful to Uyisenga N’Manzi for many things, but most of all, I could not be where I am today without their physical and emotional support. Through my contact with this organization, I have built a new family where I know that I am valued and respected. With the help of this organization, I was able to complete my studies and currently am employed in their main office where I partake in a multitude of responsibilities, one of which allows me to provide trauma support. Through their employment, I have been able to provide my family and myself with an improved standard of living. The betterment of my life ends not with my family but continues into my community, where I work to give others what Uyisenga N’Manzi has given me.