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2nd Annual Gatumba Massacre Survivors’ Night
August 31 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pmFree
AUTHOR AND INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATE SPEAKS AT ICOACH EVENT TO SUPPORT IOWA’S CONGOLESE
Only 14 years old at the time, Boaz Nkingi fled his home country of the Democratic Republic of Congo for the safety of the Gatumba refugee camp in Burundi. Instead of finding refuge that he and his family sought, his dad and six siblings were murdered – his mother was shot in the legs and burned alive with gasoline in what has become known as the Gatumba Massacre.
In a single evening that August night 14 years ago, 166 people were killed and 116 more suffered debilitating injuries. Those who survived continue to live with the nightmares and trauma.
Internationally-recognized author and human rights advocate Sandra Uwiringiyimana is such a survivor and recounts that evening and the years following as a refugee in her book, “How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a war child”. Uwiringiyimana has addressed the United Nations and appeared on various national news outlets.
Uwiringiyimana will speak at an event hosted by ICOACH – The 2nd Annual Gatumba Massacre Survivors’ Night – drawing participants from across Iowa. The event will also be an opportunity to talk about how to overcome incredible hardships and build resilience for a better life. Discussion geared toward helping Congolese refugees in a new land is also planned.
This event is open to the public. Free-will donations to benefit survivors accepted at the event. Due to limited seating capacity, event registration highly encouraged.
While there is hope for refugees in a new land, their struggles don’t stop upon their arrival in the U.S. — they face a whole new set of challenges. Prior to their arrival, these survivors have had poor access to education and virtually no exposure to English. They lack a social network, the ability to drive, opportunity for growth and financial security. As a result, Congolese Iowans face language, cultural, emotional and physical barriers that make adjusting to their new home state extremely difficult.
DR Congo, formerly known as Zaire, is in central Africa, north of Angola and south of South Sudan. It was once a Belgian colony. There are more than 2.5 million displaced Congolese people, thousands are estimated to live in Iowa and rebuilding lives in the Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Waterloo metro areas. They are recovering from the anguish of war, poverty, sexual abuse and other human rights violations. More than half of them are children.