In the realm of life, each of us carries a unique story that has the power to inspire and transform the world around us.

Factors that led to addiction vary from person to person. For Marie, the tragic history of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was the reason. The pain, trauma, and agony she went through after the terrible demise of her family left her with no option but to turn to alcohol and drugs.

During the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, I was tortured almost to the point of death and thrown into a newly constructed pit-latrine three times. When the genocidaires realized that I was not dead, they inflicted more pain on my body: they cut me with a panga and threw me into the Akagera River in an attempt to kill me. However, once again, God came to my rescue: the thick papyrus tree in the river saved my life. That was where I was later rescued by God.

The impact of the Genocide has been immense on me: I do not have any children, siblings, or other family members. I never knew my mother; I grew up in different families. I suffered from mental illness and received treatment at Ndera Hospital for two years.

Purpose Rwanda counselor during an Interview with Marie

The turning point in my life came recently: “Since I came here to Purpose Rwanda, I am able to have restful sleep which was not the case before. I was always feeling lonely, but nowadays, I can’t wait to see my friends and family members at Purpose Rwanda every Wednesday during spiritual and counseling sessions where we have people who talk to us, empower us to share our life experiences, which are mostly negative experiences. The counselors and preachers support us on how to overcome our life challenges. Today, they have made me stronger.”

Wednesday has become a special day for me every week. I prepare myself by Tuesday evening to attend the spiritual and counseling sessions on Wednesday. I can’t miss them, and I am always among the first to arrive in the morning. My life was once filled with misery, but the services I am receiving at Purpose Rwanda are helping me tremendously. I used to not eat due to sadness, and even when someone gave me food, I would prefer alcohol instead.

Coming to Purpose Rwanda helped me give up drugs and alcohol. The individual counseling sessions helped me evaluate my life and see things in a new light. Being close to others facing similar challenges also helped me realize that God has a purpose for keeping me alive. I believe that one day, I will contribute to the development of my community. I now have hope in life.

Despite what I experienced during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, I trust in God that my life will end well as my name also suggests (someone who is blessed). Because of Purpose Rwanda, I feel emotionally and mentally stronger in comparison to my past traumas. Surviving being buried in a pit-latrine by genocidaires and still being alive 30 years later is something no human being can fully comprehend without the power of God.