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MEET DAMIEN & LEONARD

DAMIEN

A survivor, pictured right

During the genocide, Damien fled with 32 members of his family, to a Catholic church thinking they would not be killed in a place of worship.

LEONARD

An offender, pictured left

Leonard was one of the men who surrounded the church to kill everyone inside. Damien and a few of his brothers fled the church during the killing, but Leonard killed one of his youngest brothers.

“When they see us walking together, they always think that it is possible to have peace in Rwanda.” 

Before attending the workshop, they hated each other and were enemies. Damien says “It would have been better to flee the country than to meet him eye to eye.” But by the end of the workshop, Damien felt he could really forgive Leonard, especially because Leonard asked genuinely for forgiveness without pressure from others or from the government. Although it was very difficult at first, Damien and Leonard began to share a cow through Cow for Peace. At first, Damien’s family and children feared every time Leonard came to help care for the cow. Through time and through consistent interactions where both were able to prove their sincerity in desiring reconciliation, they have become close friends.

Their extended families could not accept they were able to be in a good relationship. Damien used to tell his family, “There is a God who can take someone from the darkness and give him strength to ask for forgiveness, and that God is the same God who gives power to forgive.” When asked what they thought their community has seen in their relationship, they responded “When they see us walking together, they always think that it is possible to have peace in Rwanda.”

2017-11-10T17:18:53+00:00