The Story of Rose
THE STORY OF ROSE GAKWANDI MUKANKAKA
In April of 1994 Rose Mukankaka hid inside her home with her husband and six children while their neighbors roamed the streets, dragging people they had known all their lives from their homes and murdering them. On the other side of Rose’s back yard wall, these gangs with large machetes gathered each evening, drank banana beer, and bragged who they would kill next.
For ninety days Rose lived hidden away on the other side of danger. For ninety days she prayed. When the genocide was over, Rose and her family emerged from hiding to find that her parents and extended family and people from her childhood village had been killed, and their bodies thrown into the river.
“But God calls us to forgive, “ Rose said. “And so I forgave those who killed my family. Then I could be free to care for the orphans left behind.” Rose began with a handful of children found in the streets and secured foster homes for them. She single handedly provided the vision and inspiration to create the Association Mwana Ukundwa, (The Beloved Child Association), which now serves thousands in three provinces throughout Rwanda.
With her compassion, determination, and innovative leadership, Rose has earned the trust of both national and local leaders. She had procured land grant opportunities for women to farm, medications and food for women and children living with HIV/AIDS, tuition for vocational training and education. The Beloved Child Association has also established choirs and sports organizations for marginalized children.