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7.26.2007

Gahongayire Juliette



Juliette is 19 years old and in the 5th form studying accounting.


I have never heard a story of more simple bad luck. She was born in Burundi while her parents were refugees from Rwanda. They arrived just in time for her father died in the bUrundian Genocide of 1993.

They returned to Rwanda just in time for her mother to die int eh Rwandan genocide of 1994.


She stays with her grandmother, and sometimes with a family near the school. She has three brothers and sisters, one of whom is in school. She relys on charity for her school fees, and the headmaster has been helping her. She lives outside of gihanga, so for her it is a three hour walk to school each day each direction. 6 hours walking, six hours in school, one meal a day.


She says that she has been feeling ill in her stomach.


She says “If I finish, if I get a job, I want to help others.” When they say this I do not have any feeling that they are giving me the answer that they think I want. They have a real concern born out of their own experience.



After each student shared, We thanked them, I asked permission to photograph them and told them that I would use the photos to tell people about students in Rwanda. They all agreed to this. The translation was very hard on my friend Augustin. He kept saying “sorry, sorry” in the middle of their sentences. I think it was as hard for him to listen without fixing, as it was for me. I tried to speak words of encouragement to each one – to predict a positive future based on God’s love and provision. We prayed with each one. And let them go.

It was a very hard morning. When we were done, Augustin breathed a huge sigh of relief, and said to me, Peggy, That was really hard. I thanked him for his tender and courageous work for me that day.


In his last e-mail to me he asked me to "remember the tears of the children."
Not a problem, my friend, not a problem

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