Rwanda genocide survivor thanks local people for Trócaire support

A young mother from Rwanda has sent a message of thanks to the people of Derry for their donations which have helped to change her life.

Monday, 29th April 2019, 10:36 am
Updated Monday, 29th April 2019, 10:43 am
Proud mum Genevieve with her daughter Josiane who now works for Trocaire in Rwanda.
Proud mum Genevieve with her daughter Josiane who now works for Trocaire in Rwanda.

Twenty-five years ago, Josiane Umumarashavu, then aged three, survived the genocide which saw her father, sister and two of her brothers killed along with almost one million other people.

With her mother struggling to provide for her three children in the aftermath of theatrocity, Josiane featured on more than one million Trócaire Boxes that reached homes in Derry and right across Ireland back in 2004.

Thanks to donations from the public during that Lent campaign, Josiane and her family, along with thousands of others, received support and equipment to help them improve their farming. This meant they could feed their families in the long-term, earn an income and allowed the children to continue in school.

Today, 15 years later, Josiane, 28, is now a successful businesswoman and is married with a six-month old baby boy, Gianni. Graduating with a qualification in business management and accounting, she now works in Trocaire’s Office in Rwanda.

Josiane said: “Trócaire, and the supporters across Ireland, have made my dreams come true. Life was very difficult after the genocide. We didn’t have enough to eat and we couldn’t afford the fees to allow me to continue my studies after primary school. But thanks to Trocaire supporters, not only was I able to go to secondary school, but I then went to university.

“I am very proud that I now work for Trocaire and can help others, as well as taking care of my baby son. I want to say a big thank you to Trocaire supporters in Ireland - you have helped to change my life and that of my family, and you should be proud that you are helping so many people.”

Siobhan Hanley, head of region for Trócaire NI esaid: “Josiane and her family is just one example of how the generous support from the public in Derry is having a massive impact. This year, our Lent campaign has focused on the millions of families in the developing world who have lost their land and their homes, and are facing hunger, the threat of violence and no access to education and basic medical care. We are also responding to the devastating effects of Cyclone Idai. We are grateful to everyone in Derry who has fundraised and collected coins over Lent and we would urge you to return your boxes as soon as possible.”

Trócaire boxes can be returned to parishes across County Derry or to donateby calling 0800 912 1200 or visit