The most dangerous trip

Decomposed corpses cover the floor of the parish. Sister Milgitha then hires the assassins to bury the dead and pay them for it. She writes their names down and the salary they’ve received. Later, after the genocide, the gossips will reproach her for collaborating with the killers. She’ll answer that the dead cannot bury the dead.

In June 1994, a deputy prefect accompanied by the military comes to warn Sister Milgitha that her life is in danger and urges her to leave Rwanda. Realizing that the people she’s saved can be killed after her leaving; she’ll first negotiate their protection. She then gives an important amount of money to the deputy prefect as well as to a local military man married to a Tutsi woman. She also informs the bishop of Gikongoro, the Red Cross and the organisation “Terre des hommes”, an Italian humanitarian organisation of the situation.

Thanks to the exceptional courage of Sister Milgitha, thousands of people, mainly orphans, will finally be saved. The protection will later be facilitated by the arrival of the French military of the Opération Turquoise, the 23rd of June 1994.

Sister Miligitha leaves Kaduha the 15th of June 1994 with her sister in the same order Quirina. They reach the diocese of Cyangugu1 the same day. Then they stay at Bukavu (Democratic Republic of Congo), after Burundi, where the German embassy at Bujumbura arranges their repatriation.

When Sister Milgitha learns of the end of the genocide, she immediately goes back to Rwanda and restarts her activities in the health centre in Kaduha, the 27th of August 1994. This trip back isn’t without difficulty, and her family and her community discourage her return to Rwanda, fearing for her life. But Sister Milgitha, although conscience of the difficult situation awaiting her, turns a deaf hear. Her dream is to see as soon as possible the people she saved and to contribute, even a little, to the reconstruction of the country, devastated by genocide. Her sister in the same order, Quirina2, who has fallen sick, will join her later in Kaduha. Milgitha sets up an orphanage and looks after, with no distinction, all the children. Between 1994 and 2010, she thus helps 3500 orphans that have lost everything. She helps the survivors to organise the funerals in honour of their relatives killed during the genocide, found thrown in the latrines and other septic tanks. She gives them sheets and coffins, and contributes to transportation and funeral costs. Besides, she helps the orphans and the widows to get decent housing. She also takes care of the education of several penniless children.


1 Cyangugu is a city situated in the southwest of Rwanda, at the south tip of the Kivu Lake, at the border with the city Bukavu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

2 Sister Quirina died in February 2014 in Germany after a long disease.