TIMELINE OF EVENTS
The Belgians, who are in control of Rwanda, organize a census that demands every person be issued an identity card that assigns them an ethnicity as either Tutsi, Hutu, or Twa.
On December 9th a resolution is passed by the United Nations that defines genocide and declares it a crime under international law.
Rose Mapendo is born in Mulenge, Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Massacre at Gikondo occurs in Kigali, Rwanda. Hundreds of ethnic Tutsis are targeted and killed by Hutu majority in the Pallottine Missionary Catholic Church. The clear targeting of Tutsi people is the first sign that genocide is starting.
Rose moves to Mbuji-Mayi so her children can attend school while her husband starts his career as a butcher.
The Nyarubuye Roman Catholic Church Massacre occurs in Rwanda, killing thousands of Tutsis.
The Kibuye Massacres occur in Rwanda. 12,000 Tutsi are killed at the Gatwaro Stadium in Gitesi and another 50,000 are killed in Bisesero.
250,000+ Tutsi people flee to Tanzania for safety.
2 million Hutus flee into neighboring countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (then known as Zaire) to avoid Tutsi retribution.
The First Congo War begins.
The Second Congo War, known as the African World War, begins. Over a million Tutsi people are slaughtered.
Police officers show up at Rose’s house in search of her husband. Rose and her family flee to the eastern region for safety.
The Congo military invades the Mapendo household; Rose, her husband, and 7 of their 8 children are captured and taken to a prison camp.
Rose’s family endures 16 months in the death camp. Rose’s husband is executed within the first 2 weeks. In order to save her son from being killed, Rose is forced to trade her 17-year-old daughter as a sex slave. Rose gives birth to twins and names them after the commanders of the camp in hopes of saving her family. After months of being starved, tortured, and systematically beaten because of their ethnicity, Rose and her family are transferred to a protection center run by the Red Cross.
Rose and her family arrive in the United States, residing in Phoenix, Arizona.
Rose is named ‘America’s Greatest Hometown Hero’ in the 5th Annual Volvo for Life Awards.
Rose Mapendo nominated by Susan Sarandon, named a CNN Hero.
The proxy war waged between Rwanda and the Kinshasa. The Congo government is headed by Congolese Tutsi General Laurent Nkunda who aims to destroy Hutu rebels involved in the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) until 2008.
Governments from Rwanda and the DRC join to combat FDLR
Ten years after being imprisoned with her family in the DRC, Rose speaks at the White House in honor of World Refugee Day.
Rose opens the first Women’s Center in DRC, offering local women the resources needed to learn, grow and survive.
Pushing the Elephant, a documentary following Rose’s story premieres in New York City.
Rose founds the Rose Mapendo Foundation.
The Idaho Public Television aired a special educational module entitled ‘Refugee Advocate Rose Mapendo’
Rose receives the Unanima International Women of Courage Award
Together with the Rose Mapendo Foundation, we can continue to rebuild the lives of those devastated by conflict in eastern Africa. Donate today.