Bellamie Mungayinka, a resilient 20-year-old from Kinihira Nyagatare, shares her journey of overcoming adversity after her parent’s separation when she was just ten years old.
At the age of 10, my world shattered when my parents divorced,” Bellamie recounts. “I found myself shuffled between different households, grappling with the absence of stability. Tragically, my mother, who had already endured the horrors of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, was no longer with us. Her absence left a profound void, compounded by the trauma she endured, having been forced into marriage at just 14.”
Following the divorce, Bellamie found herself under the care of her father, who had relocated to Uganda and remarried. Adjusting to life with her stepmother proved challenging, leading her to seek solace in a relationship that resulted in an early pregnancy at 19. Despite the support of her partner, familial opposition compelled her to return to her father’s household, where tensions ran high.
With limited options, Bellamie faced the daunting prospect of homelessness, eventually finding herself and her infant child seeking refuge on the streets. Despite her mother’s initial reluctance to provide shelter, Bellamie eventually found temporary respite before relocating to Nyagatare.
Surviving as a single mother presented numerous challenges, with Bellamie resorting to menial tasks like laundry and chores to sustain herself and her child. Yet, amidst the struggle, a deep-seated resentment simmered within her towards her mother’s husband, a member of the community responsible for her family’s tragic past.
Reflecting on her journey, Bellamie acknowledges the impact of the Mvura Nkuvure project of Haguruka , which offered her and other youth a path towards forgiveness and healing. “They instilled in us the power of forgiveness and trust, allowing us to transcend the weight of our past,” she shares. “While my journey is ongoing, I find solace in knowing that I am in a much better place today.”