Posted: July 16, 2015
Written by: Jacqueline Murekatete
After genocide or other forms of mass atrocity crimes end, there seems to be a tendency to quickly move on from the scene of the massacres. Leaving behind the fresh dead bodies, the news media turn their attention to what they think is the next potential fire and the eyes and the ears of the world generally follow the cameras. Only a few people and organizations seem interested in the aftermath of the killings. How are those murdered buried or not buried? How do those who survive the atrocities learn to live again? How do they cope with the loss and the suffering they have endured?
In many cases, survivors must learn to deal with a sense of abandonment not only at the time when their families and friends were being murdered, but also when the international community too often does not do enough to support them in their efforts to rebuild their shattered lives.
Too often, survivors find themselves in environments where they struggle to go to school, secure employment, or find the social or psychological support that they urgently need. Having lost their social security, namely their parents, spouses and many extended family members, those who are too young or too old to care for themselves too often find themselves in an environment which further compounds their trauma and suffering, sometimes leading to untimely death as a result of untreated wounds or other unmet basic needs.
It is a critical part of the mission of Genocide Survivors Foundation (GSF) to raise awareness about the various needs of genocide survivors and to work with governments, civil society organizations and individuals to address these needs sooner rather than later as we recognize that time is a luxury that some survivors simply do not have.
We strongly believe that in addition to working toward prevention, the best way we can honor the memories of all victims of genocide and other mass atrocity crimes is by making sure the widows and orphans they left behind receive the support they need and deserve.« Back to News + Blog