17 July 07 – Ten teenagers from West Bridgford Comprehensive School in Nottingham today visited the Holocaust Centre, home of the Aegis Trust for genocide prevention, to present a cheque for over £2,000. This is the final part of a grand total of over £10,000 raised in the past year by students and community groups across Nottinghamshire to provide a home for Anne-Marie. During the genocide in , 1994, Anne-Marie was gang-raped after seeing her two-year-old baby killed in front of her. Her husband was also murdered. Despite the brutality, she survived with one son, Patrick. She was, however, left infected with AIDS.
“The project to provide Anne-Marie and Patrick with a house has engaged a wide range of people all over the county,” says History teacher Ailish D’Arcy, Head of Careers at West Bridgford Comprehensive. “It shows how the work of Aegis can bring people together and be a force for empowerment, restoring life, hope and a future to survivors of genocide.”
In March 2006, during a field seminar in Rwanda organised by the Aegis Trust – which is responsible for the genocide memorial centre in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital – Ailish and other teachers met Anne-Marie and heard her heart-rending story first-hand.
“Their efforts are an inspiration”
When Aegis came into contact with her in 2004, she had never received medical treatment and had little more than 6 months life expectancy. All she wanted was to live long enough to see her surviving son, Patrick, through school. Thanks to Aegis she received the much-needed anti-retroviral drugs, and two years on, she and Patrick had a new lease of life. However, having lost her husband Anne-Marie remained desperately poor – and with her existing home falling down, she has no means of repair.
“Ailish and her students have done a fantastic job,” says Aegis Chief Executive Dr James Smith. “This isn’t just about bricks and mortar – it’s also about showing survivors that people care. Everyone who took part in this remarkable effort has done just that. Their sterling efforts are an inspiration.”
Among those who raised money or donated to help Anne-Marie are West Bridgford School, Manning School, Harry Carlton School, Ruddington Women’s group, Glossopdale School, Lincoln Christ’s Hospital School, and the company Experian.