African Evangelical Enterprises runs a lot of projects all over Rwanda. The more we work with them, the more we are impressed by the scale and depth of their work. We visited one of their mobile clinics in Kigali, where a nurse comes regularly to treat the patients and dispense medicine.
Many of the patients have AIDS. They are prescribed medicine for it by the government. And the medicine is doing a good job, keeping many alive for years. However, many of them are weakened by AIDS, making them susceptible to many other diseases. The AEE clinic treats those other diseases.
Our students interviewed nurse Rosa and some of the patients. One of them was raped and given AIDS during the genocide, and she lost her husband. One of her sons also has AIDS. She has several children (4, I believe), whom she brought up by herself. But then she also brought up 10+ other children of relatives orphaned by the genocide. When she talked, she told us about her sufferings matter-of-fact-ly, and displayed no bitterness. Instead, she was grateful that she was getting help, that the children are growing up, and things are looking up.
Perhaps that's the only way to survive. To dwell in the past is just too painful. One can only put the the past behind and concentrate on living forward. It is logical yet tremendously hard, running against our natural human instincts. It is possible if one has faith, which many of these people have.
It also seems to be a common theme - Rwanda people (having many children of their own) raising many other children (of relatives) orphaned by the genocide - acts of love amid horrible evil. They give us hope in a world of despair.