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Resilience & Surviving Genocide: Marie-Christine Nibagwire


Rwanda, 1994. Marie-Christine was an accountant and a young mother of a two-year-old daughter, when the genocide came to her doorstep. She escaped her house, without any luggage, money or documents. Carrying her daughter on her back, Marie-Christine crossed four African countries on foot, experiencing poverty, starvation and many human rights abuses. Marie-Christine then studied trauma and resilience, and uses her skills to help other genocide survivors and refugees to get on their feet again, through her organisation “Safe Refuge Rwanda”.

We talked about surviving genocide, becoming a refugee, and the difference between refugees and migrants. We discussed trauma and how to heal it – the top tip might surprise you. We also explored cyber bullying, teaching “Netiquette” and building tolerance.

My favorite quote was “Before I became a refugee, I was not a sporty person!”

If you would like to learn more about Marie-Christine’s work and / or support her organization, do feel free to email her at: saferefugerwanda@gmail.com

A huge thank you to naseba and their 2019 Women in Leadership Economic Forum for making this interview possible.

Please do get in touch with the team at When Women Win and let us know what you think of this episode or the show in general. You can reach us via InstagramTwitter, LinkedIn – or the contact form on the home page. Thank you!