Umugudu, a rwandese family

Following the 1994 Tutsi genocide in Rwanda, Martin, Alice, Françoise, Jean Baptiste … no longer have parents. In an attempt to fill this void and provide solutions, widows have adopted orphans, couples have taken care of children born of rape and siblings have been born. Families have been recreated.

They live in « umugudu » which initially means « agglomeration ». By extension, the term has now become a way of designating neighborhoods created by the Rwandan state and NGOs to accommodate widows and orphans from the 1994 Tutsi genocide. As in Kamonyi and Ndera, these are sometimes real villages where more than a hundred young people between the ages of 14 and 24 are grouped together in associations. They live poorly on a few crops of coffee, cassava and sugar cane, marry survivors and go to church on Sundays.

Many of them have not seen a psychologist in 15 years. The only way to manage a post-traumatic crisis is to lock the adolescent in a room until exhaustion. No adult is present to transmit basic knowledge, such as cooking or education, to negotiate the dowry at the time of marriage or to teach young survivors how to take care of a newborn. In recent years, evangelists, Adventists and Pentecostals have appeared and are taking advantage of this vacuum to attract the faithful.