Phone: 347.465.4045

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Kuki Ndiho partners with community organizations, schools of all levels, religious and cultural institutions to gather, collect and ship much-needed clothing items to its orphans in Rwanda. Please write us if interested in learning more at Please include photos of yourself or your family to include with the individual clothing items so that we can thank you on our web site and so those to who receive the items will also know. snd

Annual Sneaker Drive

Seventh and eighth grader at the Christian Formation Student at St. Vincent Martyr Catholic Church in MADISON, NEW JERSEY are holding a sneaker drive for Rwandan Orphans through the holiday season. They will be collecting new or gently used sneakers in all sizes now. Please contact teacher Henry Page at EMAIL HERE


April 2014
« Mar    

Amahoro Means Peace- Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation in Rwanda 20 years after the Genocide

Thursday, April 24 – 10-11:30 a.m.

Norwalk Community College (NCC) • Norwalk, CT

Rwandan genocide survivors Evelyne Mukasonga and Marie Claudine Mukamabano will join Adin Thayer, an Associate of the Karuna Center for Peace Building, as guest speakers at the Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation in Rwanda event.

Speakers Mukasonga and Mukamabano both have lost many members of their families to the genocide and as a result have dedicated their live to peace building and reconciliation, in the hope that this kind of tragedy will never happen again. The third speaker, Adin Thayer, works in Rwanda, Burundi, The Democratic Republic of Congo and other African countries with a variety of organizations to support local people in using methods of dialogue and conflict transformation. The goal is to develop peaceful communities and overcome legacies of violence.

About Marie Claudine MUKAMABANO
: The 2014 ‘Impact Maker in Development on the African continent’
” Before I begin, I would like to thank Marie Claudine Mukamabano, for gracing us with such a moving song “ . Said ; UN Secretary – General Ban Ki- moon’s remarks at fifteenth commemoration of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda in New York, 7 April 2009

The 2013 Africa Brave Award Winner, 2012 Humanitarian Achievements Award Winner , 2011 African Community Leader Award Winner & 2010 Ambassador for Peace Award Winner Marie Claudine Mukamabano, an orphan-survivor of Rwandan genocide, has received recognition from The Assembly of State of New York on May 2011 on the occasion of the Africa Day Celebration for turning a life of hardship into one of leadership and advocacy.

October 25, 2012 , Marie Claudine MUKAMABANO, initiated the Rwanda Flag Raising Ceremony in Newark City Hall in New Jesery as a Symbol of Healing, Peace,Resilience,Hope and Forgiveness , to Honor UN’s International Day for Peace by Supporting Rwandan Orphans. Event was so successful

She is the Founder , Chair-girl and CEO of Kuki Ndiho Rwanda Orphans Support Project , an organization that she established in 2005 to raise awareness on the genocide in Rwanda, help survivors, and aid orphans of HIV. In a personal capacity, she also serves as a mentor to many of the children, helping to build their confidence and give them inspiration.
After losing her parents, sister, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, loved ones, friends, classmates, and fellow countrymen during the Rwandan Genocide, 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

She gave a speech on March 2011 at the African Union’s conference on behalf of Rwanda & African women author on the theme: “A Tribute to Flora Nwapa: Gender Equality and The Empowerment of Women”.
On the occasion of the 55th session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations on February 2011, Marie Claudine was selected as the only representative of Africa women to speak on the panel “Sharing Knowledge – Joining Forces – Gaining Power: Mentoring as a Tool to Empower NGO Women”. She won an Ambassador for Peace Award on May 2010.
In 2007, as a Professional Mistress of Ceremonial and Special Event Organizer, she helped to establish “African Day Parade” and volunteered as Committee Member of the mission to promote a positive image and culture of Africa in The United States and others westerns countries.

Marie Claudine is also an influential speaker, actress, artist, and model. As artist, she dances at universities, churches and community groups as part of the Rwanda Dance Theater Company. As singer, she performs at the International Commemoration Day to mark the 15th Anniversary of the Rwanda Genocide at the United Nations attended by the Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.

She was awarded a Marathon Peace Medal from the International Women for Peace in Kigali Rwanda and honored for being the first artist from Rwanda selected among 600 applicants worldwide to participate in the Robert Wilson’s International Theater Projects in New York City on May 2005.

She speaks English, French, Swahili and her language Kinyarwanda. She graduated with a distinction in School of Business Studies in Rwanda 2000, and has recently completed courses in nonprofit management at Baruch College and The Foundation Center. She graduated recently from the International Trauma Studies, a program directed by Dr. Jack Saul, Professor at Columbia University.

More about Evelyne MUKANSONGA:


Bridgeport resident Evelyn Mukasonga was a computer science student in Rwanda when her parents and sisters were massacred in the brutal Hutu/Tutsi tribal violence that swept the country in the 1990s.

She escaped certain death by an accident of fate and fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo, only to be imprisoned there with her year-old infant son. Her husband, Congolese army colonel Francis Kalangala, was ordered to execute her. Instead, he hid her in the jungle and became a guerrilla fighter.

Mukasonga said when she learned the identities of the Hutu woman who killed her Tutsi mother and the Hutu man who killed her Hutu father, Kalangala, offered her revenge. Rejecting an opportunity for revenge, she said she confronted the death she felt inside by bestowing forgiveness.

Dance, to Mukasonga, is the healing process that is necessary for there to be peace in the region. She and her husband are the founders of African Families Synergy, a non-profit organization based in Bridgeport which brought the “Bridge of Peace”event to Westport.

“Forgiveness is the first step,” Mukasonga said. Her organization is committed to reconcile local women from both sides of the conflict and connect with other Rwandan-Congolese groups in this country following a similar path.

She plans to take the traditional dance program back to Africa and teach women there how to “bridge the peace” by helping women learn one another’s dances and doing them together.

“Dance heals: it comes from our soul,” Mukasonga said.

About Adin Thayer :
Adin Thayer, works in Rwanda, Burundi, The Democratic Republic of Congo and other African countries.

She is Director of the Graduate Certificate in Conflict Transformation program
Conflict Transformation Across Cultures
Peace-building Associate
Karuna Center
a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1994.Committed to the development and implementation of innovative, sustainable strategies for conflict transformation and community reconciliation in societies where ethnic, religious, sectarian, or political conflict threatens the possibility of a healthy, inclusive democracy and sustainable development.

Adin Thayer, MSW, Psycho-Social Certificate Associate Director, is a clinical social worker in Northampton, MA, and a Karuna Center Peacebuilding Associate. She has worked for over 25 years in a variety of settings, including hospital outpatient psychiatry, community mental health, college counseling, and private practice.

She has been an adjunct faculty member at the Smith College School for Social Work for 18 years, where she taught Brief Psychotherapy. Thayer has also presented her work nationally.

Her publications include several articles and book chapters on aspects of Brief Psychotherapy and poetry in several literary journals. Her international experience includes working with homeless women in London, and ongoing work with issues of trauma and genocide in Rwanda.
More about her Peace- Building Center please visit

The event is sponsored by the Humanitarian Peace Club and LACES language exchange club.
All are invited to attend and admission is FREE. For additional information, please contact:
Hannelore Moeckel-Rieke at or (203) 857-7335.


“Now, I can do exercise with my only one arm”

One of the most heart wrenching story I heard from the Trauma Graduate Orphans was from a young lady whose right arm was chopped off by her Killer/Interahamwe during the genocide in Rwanda.

She told me that since 1994, she never receive the opportunity to do any exercise because in school all her professors use to tell her that she can’t do exercise with one arm, therefore she should just seat down and wait until when other students finish to do exercise. I can only imagine her pain during that time and feeling so isolated in society, and was discriminated by her own people for almost 20 years.

She sent me a very emotional thank you message and she said:”Dear Marie Claudine,
Thank you very much for choosing me to be one of the orphans who took the Trauma Training Course. I learned a lot. Most of all, I learned that I can do exercise despite the loss of one of my arm. Suzanne ( the Trainer) showed me care , she showed me how I can do exercise with only one army. I’m so happy now because I can do exercise on my own with one arm. I have started to teach other genocide orphans survivors especial these with disability how to care for themselves.I’m ready to help out the traumatized orphans who most of the time they bring to our local government to get help. . Yes , I will not be able to carry them because I have one arm but at least I will sit down with them, comfort them and share with them some skills and techniques I learned from Trauma Training. One more time, Thank you. ”

11 Rwandan Orphans who Graduated in Trauma Training & Stress Reduction in Kigali Rwanda ata Muhima Primary School

Written by Marie Claudine MUKAMABANO A Peacemaker ( Rwandan Genocide Orphan Survivor- Founder & CEO of WHY DO I EXIST?/ KUKI NDIHO RWANDA ORPHANS SUPPORT PROJECT)
1186 Fulton Street
Brooklyn,NY 11216
Tel: 347 465 4045


Impact Maker in Development on the African continent

Wow! ” Dear Marie Claudine,
I am pleased to inform you that our editorial board has identified you as
an ‘Impact Maker in Development on the African continent’. We are
convinced that publishing an interview of you as a feature in the
Development Diaries Journal will inspire African youths and Development
professionals to passionately pursue excellence in the delivery of
humanitarian goals.” Said: Adebiyi Olusolape; Managing Editor of Development Diaries Ltd/GTE in Lagos Nigeria

Marie Claudine MUKAMABANO, Rwandan genocide orphan survivor

Most of the people ask me why I called my organization, “Why Do I Exist?”
During the genocide in Rwanda, I find myself jumping over the bodies of the people, children were being killed from my left and right, people were being shot in front of me. I really didn’t think I’d survive, I thought I’d die like everyone else. Therefore, I took a vow before God. I said, “Lord, if you save my life and I survive, I will do everything in my ability to help Rwandan orphans”.

Before that, my dream was to get a PhD in mathematics because I was really good in it. I was the first young girl in my school to win a scholarship to study Mathematics in the best Catholic school in Rwanda named “College Saint Andrew”. I was brilliant, So I thought nothing would stop me to get the PhD, and invent something which students would learn in school such as inventions of Archimedes, Pythagoras , or like others scientists who invented something that changed the world. It was a big dream for my age but I wanted to leave a legacy. My plan was to call it my full name “Marie Claudine MUKAMABANO”. I could visualize my invention in my dream when I was still in elementary school.

It would have been wonderful to have the students everywhere learning about my invention. So, the moment I made a promise to God to help the orphans, I changed my plan. I said that if God saved my life, I would not get the PhD in mathematics but instead I will study business and establish my organization to raise money, and to help orphans. Economics was my favorite field since it has a lot to do with math, because I really love math.

Due to the lack of the required number of students to study Economics, I was obliged to study business instead.

Why Do I Exist? Is a question I ask myself as a genocide survivor and I believe that my existence is to praise God and help others. I believe my existence is to change somebody’s life. I believe it’s my duty to promote peace, and to prevent evil acts by promoting the acts of kindness, and the benefits of performing God’s holiness.