Introduction To The Genocide In Rwanda History Essay
Genocide in Rwanda is dating back to 1994 and was the activity result of temporal government, which captured the powers in the result of the military coup d'état. The temporal government contained of the ethnic minority of the country the Hutu nationality. The military forces guided by the temporal government started the genocide process against the Tutsi nationality. The number of the killed during the 100 days contained nearly 800 thousand people and nearly 10% of them were of the Hutu nationality. The conflict was widely covered by the media sources and the speed of killings was 5 times as quick as it was in the Nazi camps during the World War II: “In early April, 1994, groups of ethnic Hutu, armed mostly with machetes, began a campaign of terror and bloodshed which embroiled the Central African country of Rwanda. For about 100 days, the Hutu militias, known in Rwanda as interhamwe, followed what evidence suggests was a clear and premeditated attempt to exterminate the country's ethnic Tutsi population. The country's industrial infrastructure had been destroyed and much of its population had been dislocated. Commerce was paralyzed and tourism ceased altogether. In a country where 95% of the population depended upon cash-crop or subsistence farming, the agricultural sector was ruined. The real gross domestic product of Rwanda for 1994 was reduced by half” (The New York Times, 1999). The end of the bloody conflict was ended by the Tutsi military troops, but thousands of children were left without parents. A number of humanitarian programs were organized even some children were adopted but the majority of them was left in the local humanitarian orphan’s houses. This research would examine the impact provided on the orphans, whose parents were murdered by extreme Hutus in this terrible conflict, comparing and contracting the factors that impacted the children who were adopted by the foreigners and children left in Rwanda orphans houses. Now the children of genocide are nearly 16 – 20 years old and the factors that impacted them would determine their future life
Children that Spend the Years After the Death of the Parents in Rwanda
From the very beginning I would like to make a stress on the fact that the cruel murder of the parents by the Hutu extremists provided the most significant impact upon the life and fortune of the children that were left in Rwanda orphan houses. According to the statistical data provided by UNICEF nearly 500 children spend their childhood in the orphan’s houses after the terrible death of their parents. It should be noted that their life could hardly be compared to the life of the adopted children, as they have to pass all the difficulties of the living on the edge of poverty, in the country, with ruined economy experiencing the after effects of genocide. According to the information received from Zainab Salbi, who worked in the one of the Rwanda orphan’s houses the facilities there were terrible but that were not the most horrifying. The situation occurred in the country left people in the darkness of uncertainty. It has become a typical practice that children were abandoned by the parents and they reached the orphan houses themselves trying to find a shelter, some food and care. It should be noted that after the genocide in Rwanda the education of the children was also damaged severely and the only way to get the education in the ruined country was to go to the orphan’s houses.
According to the UNICEF data there are nearly 1 millions of orphans living in Rwanda now and the majority of them became orphans due the events happened in 1994, but the significant influencing after effect was that the majority of adults after the genocide died due the HIV / AIDS spread. This also could not avoid affecting the children brought up in after the genocide times. Nowadays the situation in Ruanda, which passed through the terrible bloody events of 1994, the situation when the elder children are bringing up the younger ones, has already become the typical event. Rwanda demonstrates one of the highest rates of the families, which are headed by the children (nearly in 42 thousand of the private keepings), where nearly 101 thousand of children are brought up in such types of families.
As it was mentioned earlier the schooling problem is one of the most acute there: “‘These children were faced with having to deal with feeding themselves, clothing themselves, whether they went to school or not and just determining their own future’, said Lizanne McBride, the deputy director of programs for the International Rescue Committee in Rwanda. The I.R.C. manages the Fred Rwigema orphanage and is now designing a youth program designed promote economic development.” (The New York Times, 1999). Many children do not visit school and experience the lack of food. The humanitarian help could not solve all the problems that deal with the food.
Another significant impact provided on the children, grown up in the orphan’s houses that they became the victims of the wide wave of violence, which occurred during the genocide times and the growth of HIV and AIDS spread, many of them became infected now and the impact of poor situation happening in Rwanda with the control of HIV/ AIDS could not avoid impacting them. Nowadays the children of genocide are between 16 and early 20s years old and they leave orphan houses in order to start their independent life. As it often happens in the countries, which experienced such a catastrophe they are under the risk of their primary rights violation, exploitation and outrageous treatment. All the after effects, which Rwanda could hardly rid off for the recent years became a real threat for this children. International analysts consider that the future of this children and young people is under the pressure of the severe threat: “Humanitarian organizations working in the region now report that Rwanda's children have been the most vulnerable to the poverty and exploitation which followed the ethnic conflict. The massacres have left several hundred thousand children either orphaned or separated from their parents. A recent UNICEF report estimates that 700,000 children - 18 percent of Rwanda's 4.2 million children - still live in difficult circumstances” (The New York Times, 1999).
Now we could critically evaluate in what facilities the children left in Rwanda orphan houses lived and what factors impacted them. Actually poor educational level and constant lack of food and medicine provide a number of disadvantages and negatively influence on the Rwanda orphans. Under the such impacting factors their future is really under significant threat.
Fortunately despite the significant problems, Rwanda orphans are cared by the different international organizations. Since 1994, as in Rwanda as well as in other countries there were formed a number of organizations that are aimed to provide any possible help to those who stayed alive after the genocide in Rwanda. The activity of these organization deals with the wide range of problems, in particular, assistance the victims in their struggle for their rights and fair attitude in the local, national and international court processes, providing financial, medical and psychological help, creation of orphans houses and also developing of different programs for the Rwanda youth. Such organizations leave the hope that the high percent of these children would be able to make their own way and scrap out from the poverty. It goes without saying that their way would be more difficult than of the adopted children, but they are the ones, who could raise the economics of their motherland and improve the current state of things. Here are some illustrations made by the volunteers working there and teaching the children in the Kigali (the capital of Rwanda) schools, which illustrate that Rwanda has a chance: “Judith is a tall, thin, 14-year-old girl. She is barefoot, and dressed in rags, but she holds herself with a breezy self-confidence. She owns nothing but a broad and lovely smile. She and a few other girls and boys of her age take shelter on the streets of Kigali” (Albert P'Rayan, 2002). Living in the awful conditions, these children do not loose hope that once everything would be better
Children who Spend the Years After the Death of their Parents in the Foreign Families that Adopted Them
It goes without saying that the life of the adopted children is much easier than the life of the orphans left in Rwanda and they have a number of differences in their lives. But it should be noted that these two categories have a one thing that impacted them most of all: the saw the holocaust and survived in it. It goes without saying that the fact that they lived in the constant conflict for several month and the majority of their parents died in their eyes. According to Gladney Center - Rwanda Adoption Program information the adopted children often behave strangely and are badly influenced by their past, having severe psychological problems: “Espy is doing awesome. She has been sick a couple of times with local "bugs" i.e. infection and stomach flu. But has a great attitude, and loves people. She is definitely attached. And she HATES to sleep. She screams often and loud when naptime rolls around. She is also a really light sleeper which we are making concessions for. The boys continue to roughhouse with her and she continues to giggle the whole time! Right now she is pulling all of our paper plates and tupperware out of the drawer and onto the floor.... testing her exploratory skills. She hasn't said any words except for an occasional daday and mamamamam” (Adopt Rwanda, 2010). It goes without saying that changes of the facilities also significantly impacted young girl, after the years of scare, constant hunger and lack of education, this child has finally found loving family. It goes without saying that she would be brought up carefully, even if it turn out that she would never speak or something else would go wrong. Due the severe stress children who arrived to the foreign countries experienced shock, when they occurred in the place, where everyone care about them, there is no hunger, murders and other things. One of the women, who adopted three children from Rwanda shared that her children saw the death of their parents and that severely impacted their psychological state, it goes without saying that many of them difficultly accommodate to the new facilities, the lack of education prevent them from quick learning of the language, but their future if they appear and loving and friendly family is guaranteed. But there could occur another situation, if they would be adopted by cruel people, who may violate their rights and then they would experience almost the same, but could not be protected as they do not know the language. Such things occur very seldom, but we should take it in account. Actually I would like to make a stress on the fact that the majority of these children are strongly impacted by the past, the help of loving parents, who adopted them and professional psychologists help them to get normal education, they do not occasionally catch HIV/ AIDS and their future in the well developed foreign country is more better than in Rwanda, as they won’t be mistreated and their rights would be protected by appropriate legislation. It goes without saying that the horrible events these children passed through significantly impact their life, but appropriate treatment and the help of relatives and psychologists would help to overcome this difficulty and grow up healthy member of the society.
Conclusion. Comparing of the Adopted Children and Orphans Brought up in Rwanda
It goes without saying that the life facilities of one and the other are pretty different and children, adopted by the foreign parents, have more chances to avoid HIV/ AIDS, hunger, mistreatment and violence, but the same time we should take into account that the past experience of the holocaust impacts severely the psychic of this children and for some of them the changes may become fatal. Actually lots of attention and appropriate treatment is required to these children as they are with severe psychological problems. It goes without saying that the orphans left in Rwanda experience the same problem, but as we see from the volunteers notes, children that have to meet all the same everyday developed some kind of resist. The same time they have a number of other threatening factors as HIV/ AIDS, violence, exploitation, constant lack of food. It is essential that it would be very hard for them to grow up the healthy members of the society, as the society itself is still extremely ill, even more than 15 years has passed after the tragedy. Children, who were adopted in the very early age, would not experience that but those who are left in Rwanda pass through all the difficulties of the ruined state, with severe economical problems. The change of these children is the missions and humanitarian help that would help them to overcome psychic and emotional crisis.
Another significant problem dealing with Rwanda orphans is that those who left in the country experience constant lack of food. It goes without saying that it negatively influence their physical statement, and could cause significant illnesses, some even die from hunger. Those who live in the foreign countries never experience this gain and are physically well built. Those who survived in holocaust, suffer a lot from starvation even now, this negatively impacted their physical development.
In the end I would like to make a stress on the fact that these children (as adopted as well as left in Rwanda) experience severe psychological problems and it would be very hard for them to overcome the psychological and emotional crisis. But if the life of those who live abroad is fixed and they could work with the specialists on improving their psychological and emotional state, physically they are healthy. Those who were left in the country experienced all the negative influence of living in the country after the holocaust, with ruined economy, constant starvation and high spread of HIV, AIDS. It goes without saying that alongside with the psychological and emotional problems these children experience physical ones. It should be noted that their psychological statement could be even better than at those who live abroad, as years of, poverty, hunger and illnesses develop some kind of the psychological resist: they smile and believe in better future, that is really a good sign for Rwanda. The new generation of young people has grown up and despite the difficulties they met from very early age, they still believe in better. Taking into account all these factors I would like to conclude with the fact that having a lot of similar (similar psychological problems) they have a number of difference, but both have better perspectives than ten years ago.
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