Archive for the ‘Eugenie Mukeshimana’ Category

Eugenie Mukeshimana spoke at screening of Valentina’s Nightmare

You are warmly invited on Friday June 25, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. to The South Orange Vailsburg United Methodist Church, for a TRULY INSPIRATIONAL evening of Storytelling in honor of all the Rwanda Genocide Survivors in their own VOICE!

On the evening of  June 25 a special community gathering was held at a Haitian church in New Jersey featuring a presentation and testimony from Rwandan genocide survivor, Eugenie Mukeshimana.

There is great importance for Eugenie and other survivors to share what they’ve experienced through storytelling, as this is the primary means of documenting history in the villages of Rwanda.  Eugenie’s voice is a story of survival but she also speaks on behalf of nearly 1 million Tutsis who were killed by their Hutu neighbors during one of the darkest chapters in contemporary human history-the Rwandan Genocide of 1994.

Eugenie and her daughter

Eugenie and her daughter

Eugenie’s presentation began with her introduction to the documentary Valentina’s Nightmare, filmed in 1997 by BCC journalist Fergal Keane.  The film displayed devastating images of the aftermath of the genocide while tracing Valentina’s experiences and reflections after finally being discovered by UN troops, near death, with the fingers severed off her right hand by a machete.

After screening the graphic film, Eugenie shared the trying chain of events leading to her own survival, each experience illustrating the fact that her presence today is nothing short of a miracle.

Valentina Iribagiza

In her quest to escape the genocide she did what ever was required to survive — from being hidden under a neighbor’s bed while she was eight months pregnant, to cooking dinner for a soldier who has been ordered to kill her.  Eugenie and thousands of others had to act like the cockroaches that they were cruelly referred to as by their killers – hiding constantly only to come out at night to quietly relocate.

When Eugenie tells of the events that led to her survival she speaks plainly and simply, she is aware there is no reason to sensationalise her experience nor does she try to paint a picture of what happened to the millions of Tutsis who did not survive.  The story she shares is of what she alone had to do to guarantee her and her unborn daughter’s survival, a story which continues with her present life in New Jersey.


A Rwandan genocide survivor documents her journey as she seeks out the wisdom and guidance from a fading generation of Holocaust survivors.

Today Eugenie Mukeshimana travels the Eastern United States to engage the voices of a dwindling population of Holocaust survivors — and to open her ears to the elusive knowledge and remarkable revelation of lives long lived beyond the unthinkable. Seventeen years ago in Rwanda, with her husband lost and five months pregnant, she spent a month hiding under the bed of an disinclined protector. Escaping death with luck and a belief in possibility,Eugenie landed in New Jersey with her infant daughter to find a Rwandan diaspora in shock and willful denial. Coming from a culture largely defined by its oral traditions, she was confounded by this profound inability to proactively engage the tragedies of a not so distant past. Unable to make sense of the senseless, plagued by her own changing memory, and burdened with the question of how to share her story with a maturing daughter, Eugenie turned to Holocaust survivors to begin a conversation of understanding, responsibility and life to be spoken across tables, oceans, cultures and generations.

Read more about The Ripple Project: One: Here

Sixteenth Anniversary of The Rwandan Genocide

Eugenie Mukeshimana

On April 7th, 2010 an international community of genocide survivors,political activists, and socially-conscious individuals joined their prayers and thoughts to commemorate the 16th Anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi’s in Rwanda.  Services were held around the world to remember the nearly one million lives that were lost in 100 days in 1994, and to celebrate the lives of survivors who continue to inspire people with their stories of triumph, faith, hope, and forgiveness.  Members of The Ripple Project were fortunate to attend an intimate ceremony at the UN Church Center, the commemoration featured musical performances, interpretative song and dance, and personal testimonies from survivors,all coordinated by Eugenie Mukeshimana, founder of Rwanda Consulting, whom is also a survivor herself.

Mr. Jean Baptist Rudatsikira, Masters of Ceremony, helped guide a diverse audience through the harsh realities of the genocide.  Keynote speaker Mr. Edouard Kayihura, whom survived the genocide at the well-known Hotel des Mille Collines (featured in *Hotel Rwanda*) recounted the terrifying obstacles he traveled through to survive.  While survivor Yvette Rugasaguhunga depicted her personal struggles through a moving poetic performance infused with Rwandan song, dance, and her individual reenactment of events and conversations leading up to the genocide.

Mr. Jean Baptist Rudatsikira

Even in the wake of devastating news that a boat of genocide survivors in Rwanda traveling to a commemoration event had capsized with over sixty trapped inside, Eugenie and her friends were able to stay strong, displaying a strong devotion to their past, and an effortless ambition for a better future.

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