Rose Mapendo and her husband and seven children lived in the Democratic Republic of Congo when the Rwandan Tutsi army invaded their country in 1998. Four years after the Rwandan genocide claimed the lives of one million, Mapendo and her family were imprisoned. Soldiers forced Mapendo to listen as they tortured and executed her husband. She delivered twins in darkness on a cold cement floor, and scores of others she knew were killed or else died of disease or malnutrition. After being unexpectedly rescued some sixteen months later and fleeing to the United States with her remaining family, Mapendo taught herself to read and write, and went on to help found a humanitarian aid organization that identifies, protects and cares for people fleeing war and violence. How has she managed this, in the wake of all that she has experienced? "I forgive," Rose Mapendo says, through her tears. "And when I forgive, it makes me very, very strong."

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  • jolie

    hey mama we love you so much you are a friendly and kind and beautiful we love your family so much

  • Lydia

    Just wow!

  • Whitney Evans`

    God bless you. Your strength is amazing to me. Forgiveness is difficult for many and you have found a beautiful way to release yourself from the bind of anger and resentment.

  • Aundra

    The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind....Osho

  • Loretta

    A story of hope, love and kindness. Brought tears to my eyes and a knowing that their is a way no matter what.

  • Page 1

  • Learn more about Mapendo International.
  • Help women and children through Women for Women.
  • One of the biggest obstacles to loving our enemies is fearing our differences.  Exhibit mapendo--the Swahili word for "great love."

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