MiReKoc Seminar by Marie-Christine Nibagwire - a Survivor of the Rwandan genocide, a Refugee Advocate and a Peace Ambassador

Author: Migration Research Center at Koc University (MiReKoc)
Time: 14:00
Location: SOS143

MiReKoc is pleased to announce the seminar by Marie-Christine Nibagwire who is a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, a refugee advocate and a peace ambassador. The seminar and discussion will take place on Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019, at 14:00, in SOS143. Registration is required for participants not affiliated with Koç University.

Date: 3 December 2019 - Tuesday

Place: SOS 143 @ 14:00 pm

Name: Marie-Christine Nibagwire

Title: Can anything good come from refugees? Or people from an other class, culture or colour?

Abstract: “I suffered, I strived to survive. I now thrive and live to make a difference in my generation and for the generations to come”. By Marie-Christine, a Survivor of the Rwandan genocide, a Refugee Advocate and a Peace Ambassador (UPF). Come and hear what took Marie-Christine Nibagwire, who arrived as a survivor of the Rwandan genocide and asylum seeker in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in London, where she had no friends and had to learn English as her 5th language.  She has now received an award from the British Parliament for her social impact to the British society and for healing of trauma and peacebuilding of her neighbours and victims of Grenfell Tower Fire.  She also received an award for serving for peace and she is now a Peace Ambassador of the Universal Peace Federation.

How could her daughter, who moved from one refugee camp to another in Africa and arrived in London, 2 years late to start the British Education system, ended up getting scholarships to represent the UK at the Global Young Leaders Conference and end up doing her Masters in Artificial Intelligence at Oxford University?

Do you know the ability your school/university (your teachers, you and your classmates), your family, your faith groups (churches, mosques, synagogues…) and your community have to heal and help in the resilience of anyone exposed to any trauma?  This doesn’t have to be a trauma of war or genocide only.  It can be a trauma of moving from one school/country to another, the trauma of having a loved one suffering of cancer or a horrible disease, the trauma of divorce or of seeing your parents separating, etc.

Marie-Christine is grateful of the help she received from her community. Healed, restored and peaceful, she is now investing her life in teaching people how to bring healing, resilience and peace in their schools, families, community, …in our world! “Be the cahnge you want to see in the world”. By Mahatma Gandhi.

Bio Marie-Christine Nibagwire is a survivor of the Rwandan Genocide of 1994 who has made her new life in Britain since 1998.  She is now a Peace Ambassador and a sought after inspirational speaker on issues regarding refugees and PTSD healing, Human resilience, Peace Education and engaging the next generation to break the cycles of violence.  As a Church of England Minister, her sermon “where was God during the genocide ?” has encouraged many in their beliefs.

Marie-Christine escaped in horrour, carrying her daughter on her back, without any purse, paper or luggage, she had to cross three other African countries on foot, experiencing not only hunger and starvation but also all kinds of abuse of human rights.  In 1998, out of desperation for peace, security and seeking asylum without success, she then entered the United Kingdom illegally.  Luckily, after much consideration of her situation, the British authorities granted her asylum, refugee status then British Citizenship.

Marie-Christine was then able to connect with other survivors of the Rwandan Genocide and wars of Africa who had arrived in West Europe and North America. They were all bleeding because of their loss, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders, culture shock. 

After much deliberation of the refugee pain and difficulties of integration in the host societies, Marie-Christine then embarked on a course of studies and trainings that would give her knowledge to heal refugees from their trauma and restore their dignity, to help children exposed to trauma in their resilience and to integrate them in the new countries.  She also got qualifications in Peacebuilding, Atrocity prevention, counter-terrorism and she is a certified trainer of the British Etiquette.

In 2001 Marie-Christine founded an organisation called “Saferefugerwanda” with the following aims:

  • to help survivors of genocides and wars restore their lives and dignity.  She has been doing that through Mentoring and Counselling those who are in the West as well as teaching them the Western Etiquette. She also helps those in Africa with generating income projects.
  • to raise awareness of the plight of refugees: who they are, what they go through and how you can help and embrace them.
  • to prevent genocide, wars and all kinds of crimes against humanity: “We do this by sharing stories of our loss and the sufferings such atrocities can cause; we then educate schools, universities, faith groups, social clubs, local and international communities the values of love, unity, justice, tolerance and respect of one another as foundations for Peace”.

Marie-Christine Nibagwire speaks 5 languages fluently and has traveled in more than 40 countries and states.  She is known for her ability to relate and communicate easily to people from different cultures, colours and classes. 

Her story and her work have been published in different magazines including “The Changemakers”, “Absolutely Notting Hill”. “The NGO Whisperer Magazine”. She has also spoken on different radios including “The Vatican Radio” and spoken in different television programs in Europe and in the USA.

Marie-Christine has been honoured with a number of important awards:

-In 2016, she was nominated for “Woman on the Move award” ( for resilience and leadership as a refugee.

-In 2018 she was awarded “the African Achievers Awards” at the British Parliament for her social impact in the UK.

-In July 2019 She received an award “for serving for Peace “and was made “a Peace Ambassador” for the Universal Peace Federation.