Angelique Yamuragiye, a resident of Musenyi, Kabeza, Nyagatare, was unfortunate to not know her father and eldest sibling.
Theirs was a polygamous family; her father had two wives and conflicts had been inevitable in their family, cooperation among them as siblings was minimal at best.
It was such conflicts that led to the killing of her father and first born brother. The son of the first wife was said to be the one who committed these murders. Without enough evidence, the family never took matters far, but this drove their family even further apart.
All that happened when Yamuragiye was still a toddler. As if what had happened was not bad enough, when she was 15, Yamuragiye was raped and got pregnant. It was a relative staying with them at home who abused her and as with the first crime, everything was concealed and everyone moved on with their lives.
This wasn’t the case for her however. She was not well but didn’t even know what or how she could save herself. She suffered immense trauma to the point of having a heart disease, an illness she still battles to date.
As she grew up, she was able to start a family of her own, gave birth and now has two children. Trauma however had become her daily struggle and her mental health was deteriorating day by day.
This is when she was invited to be part of the Mvura Nkuvure training, where she met with experts who helped her mental wellness. In the training, she had space to share her pain and grief. Little by little, she started opening up and being able to express herself.
“I grew up a lonely child. I didn’t want others or even opening up to anyone. I hated them for killing my family. But in this training, I was able to dig deep to where this pain was and was able to let go of it. It wasn’t easy but they helped us do it,” she says.
After attending this program, Yamuragiye says she was able to unite her family, “We got united with the rest of the family. My goal is to have a family gathering, where we will sit and talk and openly forgive each other.”