We should learn from the legacy left by Anne Heyman

Editor, I wish to share my deep condolences with the family of Agahozo-Shalom for the loss of Mrs. Anne Heyman. Refer to the article, “Agahozo Shalom founder dies in accident” (Sunday Times, February 2).
The late Anne Heyman. The New Times / File.
The late Anne Heyman. The New Times / File.

Editor,

I wish to share my deep condolences with the family of Agahozo-Shalom for the loss of Mrs. Anne Heyman. Refer to the article, “Agahozo Shalom founder dies in accident” (Sunday Times, February 2).

My heart is shattered with the tragic news of Anne Hayman’s death. She was a friend of the children of Rwanda and she came at a time when our orphans needed her the most. She became shelter and hope to our children. She shared grief with them because she knows what happened to her people (Jews) during the World War II when they came face to face with near extermination.

I think that Rwandans can learn from the legacy she’s leaving behind by caring for each other, fighting for the resilience and striving to turn our orphans into graduates hopeful of a better future. 

I can feel the sadness in the hearts of the children she leaves behind, those children who knew her as their mother, teacher, doctor, shelter and everything. I need them to stay strong and remain focused on the bright future ahead of them; I don’t need them to disappoint her (Mrs. Heyman) by forgetting all that she built for them.

There are those she got from the streets and trenches, and those she took away from the shadow of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi by encouraging them to study hard to grow up into men and women their parents would be proud of today.

We have lost a loving mother at a critical time the country is commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Genocide against the Tutsi. The legacy she leaves behind has to be a wake-up call to those survivors of the Genocide who, up to this day, hadn’t been able to rise from the ashes. 

With Mrs. Heyman’s selfless courage, we can do better, we can overcome all the challenges that might block our way towards prosperity and self-dignity.

RIP dear Anne Heyman.

Mutara Intore, Rwanda

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This letter is with reference to your article in Sunday Times of February 2, titled “Agahozo Shalom founder dies in accident.”

While I did not have the privilege of meeting this great lady, the late Anne Heyman, I did visit her beautiful Agahozo Shalom Youth Village on one of my many visits to Rwanda. I was deeply touched with the great work she was doing for the children there, who were mostly orphans from the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The tragic death of Heyman has left not only the whole country, but also Rwandans and friends of Rwanda living in different parts of the world in deep grief.

Agahozo Shalom is indeed, a model youth village, which has demonstrated how the challenges and problems of today’s world can be effectively resolved with love and care. These great qualities of Heyman will surely be left behind as her legacy to all those who move through the portals of her great institution.

May God grant Anne Heyman eternal rest and fortitude to her very supportive husband, Seth Merrin and her entire family at Agahozo Shalom Youth Village.

Clarence Fernandes, Mumbai, India               

 

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