CAFOD Harvest Fast Day 2010

By Sarah Davison
September 13, 2010

Jeanne’s childhood will be forever etched in her memory

Jeanne didn’t have the sort of childhood I remember having. Her early years weren’t filled with playground games, homework or summer holidays. Instead she remembers a time of utter devastation that she’ll never forget.

Jeanne is from Rwanda. In 1994, she saw her mother and father brutally murdered in the genocide that left nearly a million people dead in 100 days. Jeanne was just three years old at the time. Her life had barely begun yet suddenly, without parents to love and protect her, the future looked hopeless.

She told me her story when I met her last year. I could hardly comprehend it all – this young woman had witnessed things no one should ever have to see.

She told me how, during the genocide, she saw innocent people killed all around her. She even witnessed the murder of a woman and her unborn baby – an image too horrifying for words. Jeanne was lucky to survive, but these memories will haunt her for the rest of her life.

CAFOD needs to ask for your support to help Jeanne and others just like her to overcome these terrible memories.

Our partner in Rwanda, Uyisenga, brought her together with other orphans of the genocide to give each other support and the strength to carry on. Jeanne now shares a home built by Uyisenga with other children. She no longer feels so alone, telling me “meeting other orphaned children has helped me trust, because we help each other.”

Will you donate to help us support other young people like Jeanne to look forward to a future and create happy memories of their own?

We know our supporters have also given generously to The Pakistan Floods Appeal and we are incredibly grateful. But the need for donations for children like Jeanne, in Rwanda and across the world, continues to be great. Your donation this Harvest Fast Day could help them experience the love, support and trust they need to rebuild their lives.

Sarah Davison is part of CAFOD's Communication Team

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