Uwimana

Uwimana, whose name means "one who belongs to God," is a mother of 3 children and still cares for two children as well as a grandson. It was during the genocide when she and her family fled to Zaire, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Her husband died while in refuge. Upon returning to Rwanda with her children, she was met with different problems. Uwimana was raped after running into a soldier of the Interhamwe, a former government-backed militia that carried out the genocide. When she learned that the soldier had infected her with HIV/AIDS she became very depressed.

Uwimana was very poor and sick. She turned to alcohol to subside her sorrows and hatred. They had no land to cultivate for food and she could not pay her rent. Her sickness kept her from being able to keep a job. She was sick and starving. She contemplated suicide, but she kept thinking of her children. She knew that ending her life would end the life of her children as well.

People treated Uwimana poorly. She was mocked for being HIV+. It was then she decided to turn to God instead of drowning in sorrows. It was then that she met Thomas, Legal Representative for TVM in Rwanda. He helped her pay her rent then introduced her to Simon, TVM’s Country Director. Thomas, Simon and the sisters of employed widows welcomed Uwimana.

Now that she works at TVM she can pay the rent, get food without begging, and buy clothes for her children. She is now a person other people in the community can trust. Her children are so happy because they can eat regularly.

She is a singer in the choir and a prayerful woman. She relies only on God. Every morning at TVM she hears the word of God, and it strengthens her. Even if she is sick or has problems with her feet, she still goes to church because she believes it is God who can help her with her sickness and problems.

After reading the Bible she wanted to be baptized under the Christian name, Ruth.  She was impacted by Ruth’s story, because despite great challenges Ruth did not abandon her mother-in-law. In the same way, Uwimana says that she will not abandon her God because it was God who accepted her with her sickness, with her drinking problem and with her hatred. It was God who brought great change in her life.

Her illness still bothers her. She misses being strong like she used to be. But she cries to God and asks him to heal her and make her strong again.  At TVM she doesn’t worry about people mocking her. Instead they share life with one another by talking and praying. She asks that we continue to pray for her because God is able!