Grace Rwanda wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

December 12, 2011  |  General  |  No Comments

As we all spend time reflecting on the events of this past year, Grace Rwanda would like to take the opportunity to update you on how your generous financial contributions during 2011 helped change the lives of children in rural Rwanda.

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Grace Rwanda featured in the North Shore News

July 6, 2011  |  Articles  |  No Comments


Making change in Rwanda
By Manisha Krishnan, North Shore News June 8, 2011

When bad things happen, the natural human instinct is to try to forget about them.

But sometimes, it can be crucial to remember, so that history doesn’t repeat itself. In the case of the Rwandan Genocide, the latter is true.
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We’re In The News: Grace Rwanda featured in The Province

April 20, 2011  |  Articles, General  |  No Comments

Amazing Grace Rwanda
Fri Apr 15 2011
Section: B.C.
By Elaine O’Connor

Elizabeth M. Johnson in Rwanda copy

As a Tutsi woman living in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide, Elizabeth Mujawamaliya Johnson lost almost all of her family under horrific circumstances.

It’s the kind of experience that could turn a person bitter. But instead, Johnson drew on her tragic past to create a bright future for the next generation of Rwandans, Hutu and Tutsi alike. She found an inner amazing grace and established an educational charity called Grace Rwanda.

The 44-year-old Langley woman co-founded the charity with fellow Rwandan Marie Louise Kaligirwa, another genocide survivor who lost the majority of her family. Johnson worked for CARE Australia and World Vision in Rwanda before immigrating to Canada in 1999 and Kaligirwa was an accountant working for the U.S. Embassy before moving to Canada in 1998.

The two long-lost school friends immigrated to Canada separately and reconnected in the early 2000s by chance – an acquaintance who knew that Kaligirwa wanted to move from Calgary to Vancouver gave her Johnson’s number.

“I didn’t know she was alive,” Johnson recalled. “We all were just screaming and in tears. It was really like a miracle.”

Once joyfully reunited, the pair began thinking about ways to help rebuild their country.

“We remembered the time it took to go to school every morning in Rwanda. I had to walk almost three hours. When I remembered how hard it was at that time for me, we realized we had to do something because we lived it, we knew the situation our school was in. We were sitting on the ground and in the dust with no windows or doors, walking for hours carrying only one book,” Johnson recalled.

So in 2009 they created Grace Rwanda and began fundraising to build a new school in Johnson’s old hometown of Rwinkwavu, in the eastern province near the border with Tanzania, by donating cement and steel girders to hold up the new roof. Canadian donors assisted in the building of two new classroom buildings, replacing a cramped and crumbling adobe mud brick building, and the building of new latrines, where formerly 1,400 students shared eight stalls.

Since then, they have been fundraising to build a kitchen, dining hall and a library at the school.

Read the full article in The Province

17th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide

April 8, 2011  |  Events  |  1 Comment

Upholding the Truth, Preserving Dignity


Please come and join the Rwanda Community of BC in remembering the victims of the genocide. The event will present speeches on the occasion, showcase a new film called “Iyususamo,” which reflects on what took place in Rwanda in 1994 and thereafter, and poems will be recited in honour/memory of the victims.

Saturday April 16th, 2011
2:00pm – 6:00pm
Douglas College New Westminster Campus
700 Royal Ave., New Westminster BC
1 Block from New West Skytrain Stn.
604.512.2178

“As We Forgive” Film Screening

April 8, 2011  |  Events  |  No Comments

Capilano University and Grace Rwanda Society present “As We Forgive,” an award winning documentary from Laura Walters Hinson about the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. Saturday April 9th, 6-9 p.m.

“My Neighbor, My Killer” Film Screening

April 8, 2011  |  Events  |  No Comments

“My Neighbor, My Killer” is an award winning documentary film by Anne Aghion on Gacaca Justice local courts system in Rwanda. The screening takes place April 6 at UBC, 5-9 p.m.