The Rwandan Genocide: “let’s learn from our history to shape a bright future”

Mass grave of 250,000 people at the Genocide Memorial Museum in Kigali

Mass grave of 250,000 people at the Genocide Memorial Museum in Kigali

Internecine strife in 1994 between Tutsis and Hutus led to a horrific episode in the unrest-pocked history of Rwanda. The genocide is explained in the exhibit at the Genocide Memorial Museum in Kigali and powerfully depicted in the Nyamata Church 30 kilometers outside the capital.

Nyamata Church. "Commemorating the genocide against the Tutsi: Let's learn from our history to shape a bright future"

Nyamata Church. "Commemorating the genocide against the Tutsi: Let's learn from our history to shape a bright future"

There, rows of benches are piled with clothing and endless rows of skulls and other bones are displayed in dark underground graves which are accessible by steep stairs. About 850,000 people were murdered during just a few months in 1994 and the shocking magnitude of the calamity is captured with startling power by this exhibit. What is especially revolting about the circumstances involving this church is that hundreds of men, women and children who took refuge here were murdered en masse. (No photography is allowed. )

Tonia Locatelli, an important figure in genocide resistance buried outside Nyamata Church.

Tonia Locatelli, an important figure in genocide resistance buried outside Nyamata Church.

–Lida

Hanky Panky CEO, Lida Orzeck is currently in Kigali, Rwanda with the International Organization for Women and Development, a medical humanitarian organization that brings volunteer surgeons and nurses to operate and care for women who suffer from obstetric fistula, and at the same time, train local surgeons in these surgical skills.

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About Hanky Panky

Over 30 years ago, in 1977, designer Gale Epstein created a hand-made lingerie set for her friend, Lida Orzeck, crafted out of embroidered handkerchiefs. The original designs were the inspiration for the company name, Hanky Panky. Blending traditional with modern glam looks, Hanky Panky is a fashion favorite of countless celebrities.
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