Kigali, 24 July 2009 (FH) -  Mrs J.M (not her real name), now in her 40s. She says she can never forget the  serial rape ordeal she underwent during the 1994 genocide. She is a victim, but she is brave woman who is surviving with hope and determination.

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"In 1994, I was raped. Others died immediately. Since then am carrying death cross which is killing me little by little," said Mrs J.M in a soft voice.

"The past and the present confuses me a lot, sometimes hard to bear", she quipped.

Her husband was killed by a machete; the head of her only son who was then three years old was smashed against a wall; the serial rape on her body; and her three sisters-in-law killed on the spot which forced her into exile to a refugee camp in the former Zaire[ now the Democratic Republic of Congo].

"There [Zaire] I gave a birth to a baby girl [because of pregnancy following serial rapes]," she recalls sadly.

On return to her country, she discovered that she was HIV positive.

Thus, once a month, she goes to a psychosocial center in Kigali, where, beyond the counselling, she receives anti-retroviral drugs.

There she meets other women with whom she shares this sad story of the genocide.

"We tell each other everything, without hiding anything; which has led us to love each other..." she consoles.

As for the child born of the martyrdom, the girl was already now in secondary school.

Beautiful and intelligent, the innocent creature forces the admiration of her entourage.

"Before, I was a bit reluctant as she was a child born from unknown rapists. But, slowly the pain has started healing... I have started to love her and cherish her. By Loving her, gives me relief that I mysteriously survived death", confesses the lady, seating in front of her bazaar, where she sells various food items.

"To raise Josee [ not her real name], my only reason of being alive; I work hard, in spite of my ill-health," she said, adding that she hopes to live long enough to make her [ Josee] a humble and noble woman able to fly on her own wings.


© Hirondelle News Agency