In Memoriam: Jean-Cloude Tuyishime

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In November 2017, the sad news reached us that Jean-Cloude Tuyishime had died. He had just turned thirteen. Only when we went back in 2018, did we hear the whole story. Jean-Cloude was ill-treated in prison, where he had ended up after stealing a cell phone. His wounds were not attended to and he sustained an infection. His mother had no money to bring him to the hospital.

Jean-Cloude dreamt of becoming a soldier, than president. His short life was dominated by hunger, wandering and beatings. But also by the adventures he underwent with his big brother Hirwa. The last two years he lived with his mother again. One of the orphans remembers how the deputy director wanted to spank him, and how Jean-Cloude was quick to respond: he immediately embraced him. I think of the ritual we had. If we all had a bottle of Fanta, we would toast. Jean-Cloude thought that was a great ritual and would not let us take a zip until we all… Cheers my dear Jean-Cloude.

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