Alice is a beautiful, talented and intelligent young woman – a born leader. Her father was an alcoholic, which created conflict between her parents. Because of this she was brought up by her grandmother, whom she loved as a mother.
She was seven years old in April 1994, when the genocide began in Rwanda. Hearing the cries of people as they were being brutally murdered, and knowing that they had no chance of survival if they stayed where they were, Alice and her grandmother fled.
Thousands of other people were also fleeing and the roads were crowded, with people pushing and shoving. Her grandmother told Alice to run ahead, reassuring her that she would catch up. Alice refused to leave her, but her grandmother ordered her to go ahead. After a few minutes she turned back and saw her beloved grandmother fall to the ground, having just been murdered.
Alice ran into the valley and hid. Some people found her and took her with them to hide in a riverbed, where they stayed for more than a month. She became sick with malaria. She was eventually reunited with her aunt and her sister; they told her that parents had been killed. She was so traumatised that she couldn’t speak.
Alice has come a long way. She started studying at the Rwanda Multi Learning Centre and became a model student, heading up the choir and starting a discussion group for the young women.
Keen to set up a business and earn an income, Alice founded Wanda Bakery with some of her colleagues. They bake cakes and cookies that they sell to hotels and embassies in Kigali, cook lunch for the students at our music school, and have recently started making wedding cakes to order.