International Educator - January/February 2013 - 21
survivors working as gatekeepers at the memorial “embraced each of us, holding us for a long time, as if making sure we would be all right before sending us on our way.” “That day signified an inversion of the roles we had expected to play,” Pathe wrote. “We were suffering, and the survivors were comforting us.” For their course, the students wrote papers about their experience, which some later used for further research on the genocide. One student returned to Rwanda on her own to direct a U.S. Agency for International Development program in the region. Others returned to teach English. The students also created a website of the orphans’ testimonials to broadcast the challenges the Tubeho still face following the genocide. One such challenge is higher education. While the Rwandan government pays partial tuition for genocide survivors through high school, government scholarships for university studies typically go to students who score in the top five percent of academic exams—a reach for most of the orphans. Dauge-Roth created a nonprofit that collects donations to pay for college scholarships for the orphans. So
far, the nonprofit has awarded 11 scholarships in the past four years, each worth about $1,500, to help cover tuition, transportation, and materials. Last year, seven of the scholarship recipients earned college degrees. “The students discovered how fragile it is to reconstruct yourself after an event like this,” said Dauge-Roth, who will take a second group of students to Rwanda next year . “It put into perspective how fortunate most U.S. students are.”
Bates college student Sara Bravmann speaks with Rwandan genocide survivor Alexis Mutimukunda at the Ntarama Memorial in Rwanda.
Compiling statistics about global genocide can be tricky, in large part because university peace studies programs, conflict resolution programs, and war studies programs can all define the term differently. The Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame tries to bring together leaders from all three disciplines—as well as from NGOs and human rights groups—to address the dynamics that give rise to genocides. The United Nations definition of genocide is “the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national
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