Josephine Dusabimana shares her experiences saving people during the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda


During the Ubumuntu film screening that took place at Kigali Genocide Memorial on the evening of Tuesday 21 June, a 30 minutes movie was shown that tells the story of Josephine Dusaminama who was a rescuer during the Genocide.

Josephine was born in 1957 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). During the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, Josephine managed to rescue 13 people by hiding them on boats with her children and taking them to the DRC.
Josephine gave away her livestock to appease the people who were searching for Tutsi people to kill. She knew that if they found out she was hiding Tutsis that she would also be killed.

“I did not expect anything while hiding those people, I think it was not only my will but it was also God’s wishes as there many people who were financially or socially able to help, but they failed to do so.” Josephine Dusaminama, Genocide Rescuer.

The films screened at the Ubumuntu film screenings are selected from the Genocide Archive of Rwanda’s collection. The archive team collects information and evidence of the Genocide, and develops films and documentaries for its collection: This archive’s digital collection and website contributes to the Rwanda peace Education Programme (RPEP), as well as educational material for students, researchers or anyone who is seeking information on the Genocide, in Rwanda or anywhere in the world.

“These films are very helpful in building peace as well as improving reconciliation; they also increased awareness of what happened in Rwanda during Genocide. These films can also help student with materials they can use as reference for the papers they develop in their history classes or any other related courses”. Rose Twagiramariya, Education Liaison, USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education (USC-SF).

“It is really challenging collecting this information because even some of us also witnessed the horrors of the Genocide. Some of us are also survivors, who lost family members and friends too. [….] We interview survivors, rescuers and even perpetrators. We also select different elders who lived through the 1959, where conflict began to build up in Rwanda. The elders’ testimonies are the most interesting ones as they help us understand what causes led to the act of Genocide. They teach us about our history.” Paul Rukesha, Indexing Officer, Genocide Archive of Rwanda, Aegis Trust.

The film screening took place as part of the Rwanda Peace Education Programme ‘Peace Week’. The programme has been in place for the last three years, visiting communities across the country to promote positive values including social cohesion, pluralism and personal responsibility, empathy, critical thinking and action to build a more peaceful society. The programme has been run by Aegis Trust, Radio La Benevolencija, the Institute For Research And Dialogue For Peace and USC Shoah Foundation and is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

The Rwanda Peace Education Programme has reached more than 50,000 people from more than 20 districts across Rwanda. One of the most impressive achievements of the programme has been the introduction of the Peace and Values Education developed by the programme into the national curriculum.