Transformation through life’s most difficult challenges – how Marie Claudine, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide is using her tragic experience to help orphans in Rwanda

Yesterday, I had the pleasure the privilege to meet with multiple award winner, Marie Claudine Mukamambana who lost her parents, sister, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, loved ones, friends, classmates, and fellow countrymen during the Rwandan Genocide, when she was only a teenager. What touched me the most was that she has used this tragedy to find meaning in life and to give back to the orphans of Rwanda

IMAG3821(Magdalene with Marie Claudine Mukamambana, New York)

Yesterday, I had the pleasure and privilege to meet with multiple award winner, Marie Claudine Mukamambana who lost her parents, sister, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, loved ones, friends, classmates, and fellow countrymen during the Rwandan Genocide, when she was only a teenager. What touched me the most was that she has used this tragedy to find meaning in life and to give back to the orphans of Rwanda through her non-for profit organization  Whydoiexisit.org.

Her Catholic faith inspired her to seek the answer to the question of KUKI NDIHO? (Why do I exist?-Pourquoi J’existe?). This question now serves as the name of her organization, which has an extensive fundraising program in New York, as well as a presence in Belgium and South Africa. The thousands of dollars raised thus far continue to support hundreds of orphans in Rwanda.  You can read more of Marie Claudine’s work on her website and also download her book – the Power of Social Media. She is also working on her second book, ‘Forgiveness:  A Transformation Power from Pain to a Joyful Lifestyle.’  Please do look up her website to read more of her work.

Over the years I have met several survivors of the Rwandan Genocide and who have shared their heartbreaking stories with me, long before I ever thought of blogging. I remember feeling emotionally paralyzed  by the first man shared his story and told me that he had no blood family left but was so grateful to the Canadian family who had accepted him as a refuge and had treated him with the greatest kindness he could have wished for. Although I knew of the genocide, it was impersonal to me until I met a real human being who was able to share his experience with me. At that particular time in my life, I was going through my own personal challenges but after listening to his story, I had much less sympathy for myself and started being more grateful for the opportunities I had to solve my problems and not lament over them.  This man who had lost everyone in his life,  found a way to accept and to be happy.  In comparison to what he had gone through, my problems were insignificant.

Sometimes the difficulties and challenges we go through in life can leave us broken with a great feeling of despair. When we meet people like Marie, who have risen above such horrific challenges and who still has love and joy in her life, it inspires us to do the little that we can do to uplift humanity and to find a way out of our own pain.

What is your deep sorrow?

  • Feeling that no one is listening to you?
  • Losing your job?
  • No money?
  • Lack of sleep?
  • A divorce?
  • No money to buy this great brand name bag?

How are you supporting life?  What are you grateful for in your life?

From my experience, I know that by helping others in whatever capacity I can, life blesses me bountifully and provides the tools, resources, inspiration and help which I need to heal my pain.  When one person is hurt, we all hurt.  When one person is healed, we are all healed.

TuneIn to those whispers of your heart and StepUp to do something which will truly add value to your earthly home.

Ref: http://www.whydoiexist.org/

Ref: http://www.borgenmagazine.com/10-facts-rwandan-genocide/

Love,

Magdalene

Give a compliment today – it can change someone’s life as well as yours

compliment

I clearly remember that day, twelve years ago,  when I got up and felt that life had become too much for me to cope with.  I felt depressed and my sense of identity was slowly drifting away as I struggled to find myself in this new country.  On that day, I got on a bus and as I made my way to a seat, a beautiful older woman, a total stranger, said, “You are so beautiful. You radiate.”  Her voice was so sweet and soothing – something in the way she said it, breathed life into me.   I was a little taken aback by the compliment, said thank you and sat in my seat.  However, those words made a huge difference to my soul that day.  Someone had seen beauty, even when I felt that I was dying on the inside.

Our words to ourselves and to each other can create miracles in our lives. The more we look for the good and beauty in others and let them know about it, the more we also benefit from that energy.  It lifts us up.  It gives hope to others and reinforces the beauty and good in them.

Give someone a compliment today.  Write it on their FB page.  Send it through an e-mail.  Give a recommendation on LinkedIn. Give a stranger a compliment.   You can go even further… make it a day of compliments… give compliments all day long! I guarantee you that you will smile more!

What inspired this post this morning?

I received a beautiful note from my friend Malika last night which said:

“Have I told you how PROUD I am of you!!! I am!!! You have become even more of an inspiration than when you taught with me….Your journey has showed me that ANYTHING is possible….Finding your passion and happiness is really the key isn’t it? 🙂 Love you”

Thank you Malika.  You brought a huge smile to my face last night and I still have it.

Stay blessed and create an amazing day with compliments.

Love,

Magdalene