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Rwandan CRS worker speaks on impact of Rice Bowl donations


Pascasie Musabyemungo of Catholic Relief Services Rwanda speaks at the Pastoral Center March 3. Pilot photo/Mark Labbe

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BRAINTREE -- The boy was the son of a former perpetrator during the Rwandan genocide, and the girl was the daughter of a genocide survivor. Even so, said Pascasie Musabyemungo of Catholic Relief Services Rwanda, the two "fell in love."

"I cannot believe it myself, although I witnessed it happening... It is something real," said Musabyemungo, who was the project manager for the CRS's Women Building Peace Project Across Borders in Rwanda, at a talk at the Archdiocese of Boston's Pastoral Center in Braintree, March 3.

Her pastoral center visit was just one stop on a speaking tour of the archdiocese to highlight the type of work supported by donations to CRS's Lenten program, CRS Rice Bowl.

An estimated 800,000 Rwandans were killed in the 1994 genocide in a matter of months as one ethic group, Hutu, committed atrocities upon another, Tutsi. Musabyemungo said that time, as well as a number of programs, including one sponsored through a collaboration with CRS and the Rwandan bishops' Justice and Peace Commission, are helping the country heal.

The collaborative program not only helps "educate people on how they can live together," but it also asks perpetrators in the genocide to "repent and seek for forgiveness," and calls on victims to forgive, said Musabyemungo.

In the case of the young couple, it was soon after the girl's mother forgave her perpetrators that the two fell in love.

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