|The Avega widows, adoptive mothers to the orphans of the genocide|
Claudine Murbwayire, aged 28, widow since the genocide, in her house of Gitarama in company of her three youngest children.
Claudine had a child in 1994, killed as well as her husband during the massacres. In order to escape the militia, she aimed, as for most of the Tutsis of the village, for the Church of Mugina. Close to 30 000 people were killed in this Church’s perimeter, several thousands inside the building, massacred by the interhamwe militia, by blows from machetes, mallets, spears, hammers, frying pans and fire weapons. Injured at the head and legs, Claudine first remained unconscious, then unable to move, amongst the dead bodies, during two weeks. When the ICRC intervened so as to bury the bodies, they transferred her to a hospital. The worms had started to gnaw at her wounds. From 1994 to 1997, Claudine was unable to walk unless upon hands and knees. Still today, the cuts she bears under her feet and on her Achilles tendon regularly prevent her from standing up.
Despite the wounds’ relapses, Claudine assumes alone the charge of a family of 13 children. After the genocide, she adopted four orphans from her neighbourhood. Then, having later married her husband’s elder-brother, she took upon the charge of another seven orphans who he had sheltered since 1994, the two eldest now being married. Together, Claudine and her second husband, have had four children. Each of them has been brought up as brother and sister, without any difference made. Today, Claudine Murbwayire must provide for the needs of her family alone, her husband having died in May 2005. Despite everything, she tries to stay omnipresent especially alongside the youngest children, the last one having not yet celebrated his first birhtday.
June 2005 – Gitarama - Rwanda.
© Pierre-Yves GINET
|Reference : Rwanda-2005-016|
Photograph 12 of 48
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