|The Avega widows, adoptive mothers to the orphans of the genocide|
Photographies representing Athanasie Kampinka’s husband as well as her three genuine children, in the main room of their family home in Kigali, she is aged 53.
In 1994, Athanasie, her husband and their three children sought refuge in the Saint Charles Catholic Church of Nyemirambo, as for many Tutsis habitants of the area. The militia came around the building twice and fired at the refugees. Her husband is killed before her eyes during the second attack, as for 200 people. Athanasie runs away, acompanied by her youngest son, under the persisting gunshots, and explains her survival only by the presence of the crowd surrounding her. She joins the FPR in the bushes, after having been hidden by clerks during several weeks.
After the massacre, Athanasie Kampinka has roamed the orphanages seeking for her children and those of her family or relatives. She never had any signs of her two other genuine children, disappeared since her escape from the church, but she has given shelter to seven orphans of her more or less close relatives, one of them a Hutu girl, then ten years old. Her parents, Athanasie’s neighbours, had fled to the Congo at the fights’ end, fearing savage retaliation. They died in a camp of the HCR. In 2003, this active member of Avega has taken under her arm her sister’s four children, who died of Aids, caught in 1994.
When she is questionned on the atmosphere which reigns amongst the family, especially regarding her Hutu daughter, Athanasie is determinate: “There has bever been the slightest problem with her. I have taught my children other standards and these sort of terms, Tutsis, Hutus or others, do not exist in our home.”.
Her only child having survived from the genocide was particularly traumatised: since those times he is the patient of a psychiatric hospital.
June 2005 – Kigali - Rwanda.
© Pierre-Yves GINET
|Reference : Rwanda-2005-056|
Photograph 48 of 48
Previous Image -