PeaceTalks with Marguerite Barankitse
Date and Time
Friday, October 14, 2011 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Institute for Peace & Justice, Rooms C-D
San Diego, CA 92110
Marguerite "Maggy" Barankitse, a Burundian humanitarian with a big heart and a woman of exception, was witness to an unimaginable event that forever changed her life. On Sunday October 24, 1993, Maggy was working for the Catholic bishop of Ruyigi, in eastern Burundi, Africa, when ethnic Tutsis stormed the bishop’s residence, killing 72 Hutus. Amid the chaos and confusion, Barankitse managed to save 25 children and, driven by hope, thoughts of peace and a calling straight from God, set out to provide a safe haven for the youngest survivors of unspeakable violence. What began in 1993 as a home for the 25 orphaned children who survived the attack, Maison Shalom – or “House of Peace” – has grown into a multi-functional service agency helping heal and support 30,000 young people and families.
Only recently emerging from more than 12 years of civil war between the Tutsis and Hutus that left 300,000 dead, Burundi is healing. In order to care for the many children affected by the conflict in Burundi, Maggy and her team operate “children villages.” These 500 small houses throughout the country, including in the capital of Bujumbura, provide children the support and nurturing they need by reintegrating them with loving families. Early in 2008, Maison Shalom achieved another goal and opened a hospital in Burundi. The focus of Maggy’s work and Maison Shalom is to change the lives of children and ultimately better the lives of all Burundians. Based on their successful efforts, the model is now spreading, with outreach and aid to children in Rwanda and the Congo currently underway.
In collaboration with the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture, SOLES Global Center, USD Changemaker Hub, University Ministry, International Center, Women’s Center, Center for Community Service-Learning, Center for Peace and Commerce
Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies