Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Meet Lawrence*

Last week I had the priveledge of interviewing and photographing a number of people that were finishing up our two week trauma counselling course through Tutapona. This is Lawrence's story.

"My name is Lawrence* and I’m 44 years old. During the war in Rwanda my neighbour falsely accused me of a crime I did not commit and I was imprisoned for seven years. In September of 2002 I was returned to my wife and children. One night as we were sleeping in our hut I smelt something unusual and looked up to see our entire house had been set on fire. I ran for the door to get my family out and as I tried to push it open the plastic sheeting fell on me. I moved outside with it on my back. My wife and all three of my young children died inside. I slept in the bush that night out of complete shock. My neighbours found me in the morning and I spent four months in hospital for the burns to my back. I came to Nakivale in 2003 as I had no-one left after the genocide. Today I am re-married with three children but am unable to do much work because of the burns cause much pain and itchiness. Tutapona came to our village and taught us that forgiveness is a sacrifice. They taught us that to forgive others is a gift we can give ourselves. I have forgiven the people that hurt me.”

*Name changed for security reasons

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