Tuesday 15 October 2019

WATCH: 'Nobody should see the evil she has seen' - Tommy Fleming meets genocide widow in Rwanda

Tommy's trip with Irish charity Bothar is charted in four short videos running on Independent.ie over the next four weeks culminating in the video for the charity single

Tommy Fleming in Rwanda with Bothar. PIC: Sean Curtin
Tommy Fleming in Rwanda with Bothar. PIC: Sean Curtin
Tommy Fleming in Rwanda with Bothar. PIC: Sean Curtin
Tommy Fleming in Rwanda with Bothar. PIC: Sean Curtin
Tommy Fleming in Rwanda with Bothar. PIC: Sean Curtin
Tommy Fleming in Rwanda with Bothar. PIC: Sean Curtin
Tommy Fleming in Rwanda with Bothar. PIC: Sean Curtin
Tommy Fleming in Rwanda with Bothar. PIC: Sean Curtin
Tommy Fleming in Rwanda with Bothar. PIC: Sean Curtin
Tommy Fleming in Rwanda with Bothar. PIC: Sean Curtin
Tommy Fleming in Rwanda with Bothar. PIC: Sean Curtin
Tommy Fleming in Rwanda with Bothar. PIC: Sean Curtin
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

In the second of four videos charting Tommy Fleming's trip to Rwanda with Irish charity Bothar he meets a woman who lost her husband and five of her nine children in the genocide.

The Sligo singer met Erin to see how she and her family has benefited from receiving a calf via Bothar, and to hear what they had experienced during and after the 90 days of slaughter from April 7, 1994.

"I didn't expect to see what I've seen," says Tommy.  "The first house we called to has probably had the most impact on me.  The woman is called Erin which is, I suppose, ironic.  She was a widow of the genocide.

"When I looked into her eyes the only thought that's going through my head is nobody should see the evil that she has seen.  Her injuries are so severe from a beating that she got from soldiers.  She lost her husband in the genocide. She had nine children, she lost five. 

"I met he daughter limping and I asked what had happened and she was slashed from the back of the legs while she was running away. I can't believe that a human could impact or could inflict such horror and such barbarity.

"But the work that Bothar have done, it's phenomenal.  This lady said before this happened she barely got one meal a day, or her kids.  She now has three meals a day.  She now sells the milk.  She now has a living."

Check out the full video of Tommy's meeting with Erin above.

Tommy, who took time out from recording his new album Voice of Hope II, to travel to Rwanda, met some of those families living with the legacy of genocide more two decades later and witnessed the positive impact Bothar’s work has had on their lives.

Bóthar supports the Rwandan government’s ‘One Cow Per Family’ programme, which aims to reduce extreme rural poverty by providing every family with a cow by gifting in-calf Irish dairy heifers and other food and income producing animals to local families.

During his trip the singer also visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre on his trip, a hugely emotional experience, as it charts the unspeakable horror of the killing spree on the site of a mass grave of 250,000 people.

His entire experience is charted in a series of four short videos, which are rolling out here on Independent.ie every Monday.  We will also reveal the video for the charity Christmas single he recorded with teenagers in Rwanda - Supertramp’s 1977 hit ‘Give A Little Bit’.

For more information on Bóthar and to download ‘Give A Little Bit’ check out www.bothar.ie

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