Odette Murekatete is the chairlady of the Nyamata Widows Hope Project. The project is one of the programmes run by GNPDR, and is the outcome of a partnership that started several years ago, as GNPDR pursued their ‘post-genocide reconciliation’ mandate.
To start with the Hope Project focussed on bringing widows together, to share with each other through tears, memories and increasingly friendship and hope. Over time, the group, who are now 46 in number, progressed to purchasing some land, and starting a cooperative that aimed for food security through growing crops and raising chickens.
The ladies are now growing enough food to feed themselves, and also sell some surplus; and on the chicken front – well at the last count there were 2,000. So eggs are in a plenty, as well as extra’s for selling on, and even some for eating.
One of the ladies said of the group: ‘we will never completely stop crying on the inside for what we have been through in the genocide, for those whom we have lost, but thanks to the friendships we now have through the Hope group, we now have smiles, laughter and hope for the future again’.