posted November 30, 2007

Survivor of Rwandan Genocide to Speak

 Amiel Gahima, who survived the Rwandan genocide that claimed his wife and their unborn twins, will tell of his experiences on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 6:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel at Hope College.

The public is invited. A $2 freewill donation is being suggested in support of the non-profit relief organization that he has established, Life Lifting Hands.

Delivered from the perspective of his Christian faith, Gahima's address will speak of the history of Rwanda, the horrors of the genocide, and the impact of the events on his life. The address has been organized as a class project by the "Encounter with Cultures" class taught by Kim Douglas of the Hope English faculty.

Military and militia groups killed between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Tutsis and Hutu moderates during the Rwandan genocide that ran from April to July of 1994. When the attacks reached their village, Gahima and his family -- his pregnant wife and their two young children, ages three and six -- went into hiding, living on plantations and in the bush. The unbearable conditions ultimately drove them back home, where in June 1994 government troops took his wife away for questioning. He later learned that she was killed, the unborn twins cut from her womb and thrown into a mass grave.

Gahima immigrated to the United States in 1997, and his children joined him in 2000 with the help of the Paw PawSeventh-Day Adventist Church. He subsequently established Life Lifting Hands to help underprivileged individuals, families and communities, with a focus on Rwanda.

More about Gahima and Life Lifting Hands may be found online at www.lifeliftinghands.org

Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.