UNITED NATIONS, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Sandra Uwiringiyimana, a Congolese massacre survivor and writer, shared Thursday her story of living between conflicts and her vision for the future of her home community.
At the United Nations Bookshop at UN headquarters in New York, Uwiringiyimana, the author of How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child, met the readers of her book and shared her life journey.
She recalled her childhood, spent in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as full of discrimination against her minority background and constant flight from conflicts.
However, because of her supporting parents and loving community, she did not feel her unstable life was any abnormal, he said.
The 2004 massacre at a refugee camp in Burundi, however, traumatized her as her family, residents of the camp, had to escape from a flaming home and gunpoint for life.
After immigrating to the United States through a UN program, Uwiringiyimana said she had faced "a lot of added trauma," including discrimination for her African descent, which she has been dealing with.
Turning to her home community, she said: "I'm from a community that still doesn't have roads. It takes about three days to walk to the nearest health center."
"I'm from a community where young girls are still married from very young age, a community where women are still not allowed to own property."
Being an activist, she said the programs she runs are addressing questions like "why I ended up here in the first place, which was the conflict and the discrimination."
In the question and answer session, many readers appreciated the courage and optimism Uwiringiyimana had shown them through her book and at this meet-up.
Thursday's event was organized by the UN Department of Global Communications on the occasion of the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women.