January 12, 2009
By Kirsten Prost, Nashotah, WI

Hello. My name is Nena. I am from Rwanda. I was born in 1977. I lived through the vexatious genocide of 1994. This genocide occurred when the nefarious Hutu militia tried to ethnically cleanse Rwanda by killing hundreds of thousands of my people, Tutsis.
I didn’t always loathe Rwanda. Until the 1990’s Rwanda had been a place I could call home. If you needed to learn to make baskets, someone would teach you. If you needed your bike fixed, someone would help you. If you were injured, someone would heal you.
My parents also made Rwanda a place I could call home. Whatever my siblings and I needed they would provide. We had food on our table, a warm place to sleep and toys to play with. That is until the Hutu’s killed them in 1994.
1994 to 2000 was a rough patch in my life. We had to rebuild Rwanda one hut at a time, as we were also rebuilding our hope for a better life. I consider myself a lucky one. All my siblings survived and we helped each other get through this time.
In 2000 I left Rwanda. I was born with a foot malady. If left untreated I’d soon be unable to walk. The healthcare in Rwanda is ineffectual and I heard the doctors in the United States could do miraculous things so only one problem stood in my way. I didn’t have the money. I’m astute and was able to come up with a plan to raise money. I found organizations that help victims of genocide. I solicited them for money to pay for the surgery and come to the U.S. They agreed.
I moved to a city called Los Angeles. The city is big with things to do and sights to see. The people are amicable and no one scrutinizes me because I am a Tutsi. I’m now an advocate for genocide awareness. The more people that know what’s going on, the more people we will have to help fight it. Genocide needs to end.

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