“Create hope every chance you get.” That was the message of Alain-Eugene Kayiranga, who was 3 years old when his parents were murdered in Rwanda, Alain grew up believing that if you were Tutsi you were destined to die. He had no hope. So his message, last weekend at the commemoration of the 21st anniversary of the Genocide against the Tutsi organized by the Genocide Survivors Support Network was to find a way to create hope in someone’s life.
Another powerful speaker at the emotional event was Esperance Uwambyeyi. She was a young mother when the genocide occurred. Her ‘Letter to My Daughter’ was addressed to Vanessa, the toddler who was torn from her arms and thrown into a river where she was drowned. Dear Vanessa, I want you to know I did not abandon you, she wrote. The audience at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, which hosted the event wept, and bonded with the speakers, young people who are the living proof of how far we are from “Never again,” and how powerful are the forces of love, hope and community to help heal.