Survivor of the genocide is building a peaceful world

A survivor of the genocide in Rwanda who found a new family in SOS Children’s Village Kigali, Agnes Tuyishimire (32) lives a life of selfless giving and caring. Today she is part of a big family of young people looking out for each other. Her great wish for “a peaceful world where all people are happy and meet their basic needs” motivated Agnes to help people overcome their trauma from the Genocide.

Agnes Tuyishimire. Photo: SOS Children´s Villages

Agnes was 8 when she was taken to Kigali with a younger sister in 1991 after their parents were killed the previous year. The excitement of being part of a new family with a caring mother and many brothers and sisters is something she will never forget. Nor the way in which the village reached out to the surrounding community.
“It was so exciting to realise that, even if we were young, it was possible to give a smile to people who lost the hope of living,” she said.
Agnes never stopped helping – from sharing her pocket money with classmates in secondary school to keep them from dropping out, to sharing her salary to help her brothers and sisters and biological cousins stand on their own feet. Thanks to Agnes, three out of four cousins finished university.

As the holder of a Master’s degree in project management, Agnes works as a project procurement officer of a World Bank funded project in Rwanda. While studying she played an active role in an association for genocide survivors, promoting unity and reconciliation among young people. She is still the driving force behind many community projects.

Agnes with her own newborn baby. Photo: SOS Children´s Villages

“It has always been a pleasure for me to help. I am what I am today because I have been helped by others. I enjoyed the care of a mother after losing my parents. I got a new family and was helped by SOS Children’s Villages, so I have to do the same for others.”

“Agnes has done and continues doing great and wonderful things in her community.” – Ntabana Louis, Director of the SOS Children’s Village Kigali