Sifa Nsengimana

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Sifa Nsengimana "was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where her family settled after fleeing the 1962 Tutsi Massacre in Rwanda. Following a childhood marked by poverty, separation, fear, discrimination, and tragedy, Nsengimana lived an adolescence characterized by wars and more exile.

"In November of 1991 she left Congo and went to Burundi. In 1993, she fled another war in Burundi and immigrated to Montreal, Canada, and began a new life, turning the page on the days where soldiers in Burundi had her dig holes to bury fallen rebels. Five months later, her entire extended family was killed in the shocking 1994 genocide which claimed nearly one million lives in 100 days. Sifa says she stopped counting her butchered loved ones when she reached 85 names. A second brother would be killed in the Congo a few years later.

"Longing for peace and justice, Sifa became a Human Rights Activist, regularly speaking on behalf of voiceless women and children, the prime victims of senseless hatred. “Children are easily dismissed by the system and forgotten by the world. They have no voice, yet will rule tomorrow. How can we not see a problem with that?”

"In 2006, Ms. Nsengimana led a large Massachusetts delegation to rallies in Washington DC and New York City to stand on behalf of Darfurians and demand action. “I have lived under dictatorship, I have lived under democracy. Do you know the power of a vote? Speak up, tell your representatives to do something this time”.

"Sifa is co-chair of the Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur and the Executive Director of Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, a JDC special project which strives to provide a family-like life and a High School education to 500 orphans in Rwanda. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in French and Spanish Literatures. She is married and has a nine year old daughter and a 7 year old son." [1]

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  1. Sifa Nsengimana, Genocide Intervention Network, accessed August 4, 2008.