I am originally from Nyanza in the South. I came to live in the North when I got married. In 1990, I was called a traitor and put in prison. Since that day my life was difficult and I have been in horrible situations. I can’t even understand why I am still alive. I was hacked in the head by Interahamwe with a machete at a roadblock. On another occasion they threw a grenade in a house where we were hiding . I still have shrapnel of grenades in my hip. We went to hide in another place but we were discovered again and I was shot at and I still have a bullet in my leg.
I was trained as a secretary but I can’t do that work anymore because of my head injuries. I always have headaches. When I look at the computer I get dizzy, it is impossible for me to focus on the screen. I immediately lose my train of thoughts. My husband and my kids survived the Genocide but my husband died in 1999 in a car accident.
I did different jobs after the Genocide, I sold charcoal but it was difficult because I had to be fast. I got a job to work on a construction site and they would call me disabled because I was very slow. I would be paid RWF 500 per day when other people were paid RWF 1000. I didn’t care at that time because I needed money to feed my children. I was happy when I got this job here to sort the wool because I don’t need to think a lot to do it. I do everything at my pace. I was very fortunate to get this job at True Vineyard Ministries. They know I am slow but they don’t push me because they know I was injured in the head. They never call me disabled or handicapped nor cut my salary in two because I am slow.
I wish I could get treated for my headaches. Until now the doctors tried everything but it doesn’t seem to improve
Photo: Alice Kayibanda