Letter from Bukavu, April 14, 2010

Click the image to see the original letter, written in French. The English translation is below:

Today by the grace of God our Saviour, I take this small occasion to tell you my history and my current situation.

My purpose in telling you in this small note is to inform you that while I was in the fields, the interahamwe came to rape me. After this act of violence, they took me to the forest. I stayed there for 3 months. They mistreated me, and after suffering a great deal I escaped and went by foot to the General Hospital of Panzi. I was born in Minova, Goma in 1995. I received my medications at the Panzi Hospital for 6 months, then I gave birth to a male child who responds to the name Christophe. Right now he is one year and 3 months old.

Up until the present time, I have not seen my parents. For the moment I am using the internet in the Dorcas I house and I study at the Imani Panzi institute. I am in the first year of secondary school and in the exam of the first semester, I received a satisfactory grade of 60%. In the days when I remember the act that the Interhamwe inflicted on me, truly it breaks my heart.

Thank you and greetings to you and your family.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Letter from Bukavu, April 14, 2010

  1. Nabintu

    Dear Sisters,
    It is so deceitful to write reports – the recent Swedish researchers’ report, others and the Congolese authority – that deny and contradict these facts. How can Human beings be authors of such atrocities; and even worse, how can Human beings deny such atrocities for the benefit of its authors and for their selfish interest? Denying this is being part of evil doers, because it is supporting them somehow. Let’s not talk about numbers; one evil deed, one woman killed or raped should alert us all … in a normal world. Hundreds of women are coming every year for treatment … what more evidence do we need? What are we waiting to see? Dear Sisters, we should stand up and fight this actively. No one is going to do it for us. We should fight until it ends.
    Join our fight for your own dignity.
    Thanks to all.

    • Martin Toge

      We just want you to know that, we ampathize totally with what you’re going through and will do something to help no matter how small.
      I can reassure you that soon all these people committing such horrible crimes will be brought to justice.
      Until then we encourage you to stay strong and always remember that despite all of that, you’ll always be valuable and important to us.

  2. Janice Du Mont

    Your courage and strength is truly inspiring!

    Janice

  3. Dalila

    Chere fille tres courageuse,

    Je t’envoie ce message pour t’encourager dans ta guerison. Merci d’avoir partage ton histoire, c’est tres important et courageux ce que tu fais, important pour toutes les femmes du monde entier. Je te souhaite une tres grande chance dans ta scholarite et pour ton combat. Que Dieu te protege pour toujours.

  4. Leslie

    Good for you to be going to school. Keep studying hard! You have suffered so much, my heart breaks for you, but you have a wonderful little boy to love and take care of. Look to the future and all you can accomplish. You are amazing, smart, articulate, and brave. Many of us here in Canada care about the Congo women and send you love, strength and a big hug.
    with love and admiration,
    Leslie

  5. It is because of brave young women like you that I am so inspired to do something to help. I have started a new site called “stand up for Congo” and will be raising money to send to Panzi and Mr. Mukwege specifically so that young women like you and children are able to attend school. I am writing to tell you you are not alone, and that I am working hard everyday just like the people at Safer to bring attention to what is happening there and to bring an end to the violence.
    I am so sad by what has happened to you, and hope that you will be able to recover both physically and emotionally, and that you and your child will be reunited with your parents, and that you will happy and be safe.
    I am writing to tell you I love you. You are very brave and a hero to me. Thank you for having the courage to share your story, it says so much about what a strong person you are.

  6. A letter on behalf of a supporter:

    Thank-you for telling your story and please continue to let people know what happened to you and is continuing to happen to other girls. The world you live in is much different from where I live. I am always shocked when I hear stories of what is happening in your country. It was extremely brave of you to write down and share what happened to you. It must of been really difficult to share your story, but it is important for you to tell people so they can learn about what is happening in the Congo.

    Your story is both heart-breaking and remarkable. It is astonishing that someone at your age could have endured such horrible events and overcome them. You seem to be a truly inspiring women.

    I hope you and your son are doing well. Good luck in your studies,

    Sincerely,

    Katherine

    • Africana

      Hey everyone,

      I really thank you for your time and energy you are putting to help these innocent girls. But, what is happening to them is more than you are reading here. Dr. Mukwege himself said during his visit in Toronto with saferworld, that it is the involvement of Canada and other western countries that are causing the rape so they can get minerals. How? we have hutu in the villages of the two kivus, being supported by France, and we have tutsi in the city and in the government of congo being supported by USA and Canada. How can we help these victims if we have not yet have a disciplined authorities. i am also sure that some of you who have put their comments here know something is wrong, but still keeping quite.
      I can only tell my little sister in Congo that i love her so much and all the best in her accademics. She should put all her trust in God not in Human beings
      thanks!

  7. Papy and Zawadi

    Bravo a la courageuse fille qui a partagé son histoire avec toute l’humanité. C’est ce partage qui donnera l’occasion au monde de savoir ce qui se passe vraiment en RDC contre les jeunes filles et femmes. Prions que le monde reagisse et que ces atraucités cessent. Que Dieu te benisse et te donne un meilleur avenir!

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  9. Banchana Pandey

    It is such a great accomplishment that you have survived through all your sufferings and are still very hopeful towards a bright future. You are so young and you are doing everything you can to make things better for you and your son. I wish you all the best and may you have a wonderful wonderful life ahead.

    Good Luck,
    Banchana

  10. Neha

    I feel like I don’t have the words to express myself after going through your letter. All I can say is that I wish the very best to you in life. You have so simply told a story that is so heart-rendering. May you never have to suffer again and may life present its best side to you in the future.

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