December 14, 2012
The Lake Oswego Review reported on AES Dallaire Scholar speaking at Riverdale High school.
[On November 15, Emmanuel] Habimana spoke to the students about his experience as a genocide survivor. He said that most of his work has been “in counseling fellow survivors in unity and reconciliation, helping them with their basic needs and providing education about genocide in the world.”
“He frequently stopped to connect with students and to make sure they understood where he was emotionally,” said Thompson. “For example, at one point he was talking about the anxiety he felt as a 9-year-old when he was living in a shelter in a church in the days immediately after his parents and family were killed. He felt awkward about asking another family for food — but he was hungry and didn’t know where else to turn. He was emotionally torn about whether to ask them for help, or if he would be imposing too much. As he told the story, he asked the students ‘Do you know what that feels like?’ I was thinking ‘Of course not,’ since none of us have lived through that terror — and at the same time, ‘of course.’”
Submitted by Susan Wynne, administrative coordinator for Academic English Studies