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Valentine with Her Daughter Amelie


My love is divided, but slowly, I am beginning to appreciate that the younger daughter is innocent.
When he came to rape me, he told me I was not the first that he had raped. He was ruthless, he put a spear in my leg, he pierced my leg and forced me to be apart and he ruthlessly raped me for 4 hours. I stayed in that place being raped every night and in the day they locked me in for 6 days and every time they came 3 men until one of them who had been a friend to my husband pretended to be kind, and said he is going to take me in his house – they have done enough havoc on me and so he took me and asked his wife to let me sleep on the bed because I was pregnant and had gone through difficult things and his wife allowed it, but whenever the wife went to the curtain, he came and raped me in the house.

I never loved these kids. I never loved anyone. Even men, it took me a long time to be able to sit like we are sitting here now. Why I love the first daughter more, is because I gave birth to her as a result of love. The father was my husband. The second girl is a result of an unwanted circumstance. I never loved her father but I loved my first husband and therefore I love the child. My love is divided – I love the other girl only now that I am beginning to appreciate that even this one is my daughter. But before even when this one is a baby, I left her crying and put the other one in the back. When it came to feeding, I fed the older one more than the younger one until when I was here and people in the immediate neighborhood told me that it was not the proper thing to do and indeed I could see, but my heart was always with the kid that I love. But slowly I am beginning to also appreciate that this other one is innocent. But even when I get clothes for them, I give priority to the older one – I only give the younger one when I had some things remaining.

I had 2 sisters and 3 brothers – they all died, I am the only survivor in my family. My mother and father and 5 grown children died. I am the only survivor.
© 2012 Foundation Rwanda, All Rights Reserved - All photographs by Jonathan Torgovnik © Foundation Rwanda