Elie was the first of our farmers to share his genocide story. After serving two years of his prison sentence for committing acts of genocide, the Tutsis in his community fought for him to be released, as they knew he wasn’t really the man that he was for those 100 days in April of 1994.
He is grateful every moment of every day for the healing that collaborative work on the farm has brought to the community, and he insists, “When you work the soil together, you realize that you see yourself in your partner, and they see themselves in you. Once you are at that point, hate can no longer exist, only peace.”
He is married to our dear friend Gertrude is who is as kind as she is beautiful. Despite the language barrier, she will walk down the street with you, holding your hand and telling you all about her day. Gertrude is always the first and last person to thank us for our partnership with their family. Obviously, it is our greatest pleasure.
With the additional income Elie will earn from Kula’s program, he wants to build a small room that he can rent out to travelers passing through Ruli Mountain. With the combined funds from the rental room and the farm, he hopes all four of his daughters and maybe even his niece will be able to attend university one day.