Too Young to Be a Mother...

By Susan Macaulay

cards-from-africa.jpgBefore 1994, Germaine lived with her 9 brothers and sisters and her mom and dad, who were a businessman and a teacher, respectively.

Both of her parents and her five eldest siblings were slaughtered in the genocide and she was left at age 11 as the oldest of her brethren, to care for her 3 younger sisters and 1 younger brother. In addition to losing her family, Germaine was left with a demolished house and no belongings.

Her siblings were in desperate need of nourishment and clothing. Germaine was frustrated because she believed she was not supposed to be supporting these children who looked up to her as the almighty. Children would come to her for answers she didn't have, because what she had seen was completely beyond her grasp.

From Tears to Independence

After the genocide, Germaine spent a long time in loneliness, often crying for days and nights on end. She had a deep wound in her heart. She wondered why she had not died as well, but had been left iinstead to care for her sisters and brother when she was only a child herself.

Germaine is now 23 years old. She still looks after her siblings who are 18, 17, 15, and 13 years old.

But now she has the means to do it because she works at Cards from Africa and is able to earn money to pay rent for a house they can live in, feed themselves without depending on the goodwill of neighbors, buy clothes, and school supplies for their education.

Something From Nothing

Germaine is proud to see a beautiful card made by her own hands. It also gives her joy to know that they are created from nothing or what was almost useless.

She believes that God is part of this, that he has not foresaken her, and that brings her serenity. She is now able to enjoy the blessings of life with her dear ones because they are together. Someday, Germaine wants to start her own business, maybe a shop.

Click here to see and buy the beautiful cards made by Germaine and other orphaned Rwandans.