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Hearing the Stories of Rwanda Genocide

Samantha Meek, Staff

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On May 10th, CHS sophomores and freshmen from English teacher Gregory Hill’s and history teacher Kesari Petroff’s classes heard the story of Rwandan genocide survivor Eugenie Mukeshimana. Students learned about a genocide and what happened through her point of view. 

The students visited the auditorium after researching other genocides to learn what she went through.  

“I want students to experience what happened,” Kesari Petroff explained. 

Through Mukeshimana `s story of survival, students learned what happened in Rwanda, how she started hiding, how everyone turned against her, and how she lost everyone in her family; they could see it through the lens of child labor and as one of the many terrible conflicts on Earth. 

Her story was a heartbreaking tale. 

“I learned about how her neighbors turned on her for being a Tutsi. I felt horrible knowing that one little title given to a person can make them seem like a villain in the eyes of others,” sophomore Ellie Cooper explained 

Others explained how her story changed their attitudes about other genocides and the survivors. 

“I felt that there are more stories that need to be told to prevent further genocides like this from happening,” Cooper said. “Everyone has a different story and her story proves about what she went through during the genocide. It changed my view in other genocides because they begin to feel more real to me, knowing there are people who lost so much and gained so little.” 

Most students felt the impact of the story. 

“It changed my view of in the way that I only saw those people as survivors but, they are so much more,” sophomore Olivia Dainels explained. 

Her story has also changed how students viewed the real world. 

“Living in the social status that I am currently in, I think it is easy to forget the situations that other people are put through.  Her speech helped me to recognize the adversities that still occur today—even genocide,” sophomore Hazel Montgomery-Walsh expressed. 

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Hearing the Stories of Rwanda Genocide