The Rwanda Library is a collection of 100 videotaped interviews with orphans and widows who survived the Rwandan Genocide. CRCC’s co-founder Donald E. Miller and his wife, Lorna, conducted these interviews over several years in partnership with Solace Ministries.
In 2001, the Millers went to Rwanda for the first time to present their research findings on the Armenian Genocide. During the conference, they meet a group of survivors who were raising their surviving siblings and sometimes neighbor children who had no one to care for them. The Millers offered to do oral history interviews with their members, and they seized on the idea. Within 9 months, they had 100 transcribed and translated interviews. A year later, an association of widows wanted to do the same thing. They produced 60 detailed and richly textured interviews, filed with terrifying stories of rape and slaughter. At that point, the Millers embarked on their own interview project, engaging with Jean Gakwandi, the director of Solace Ministries.
Gakwandi, a survivor who created Solace Ministries in 1995, believes that listening to survivors is the first step in the healing process. Solace has 60 communities throughout Rwanda where survivors find an alternative family, trauma counseling, education, mentoring, advocacy and health care.
The collection of videos is held by the Pomegranate Foundation, which has made excerpts of the interview available at rwandalibrary.com.