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Jacqueline Mukansonera (born 1963) is an ethnic Hutu from Rwanda who did not hesitate to save Tutsi Yolande Mukagasana from genocide in 1994.[1] Yolande turned to her at the hospital where she worked as a nurse. She was one of the first targets of the Hutu violence because she was seen as a member of the Tutsi intelligentsia. Jacqueline Mukansonera concealed her in her kitchen for 11 days. The two women didn't speak to each other during those days out of fear of discovery. Jacqueline meanwhile bribed a policeman and provided her guest with false Hutu documents.

Today Jacqueline lives in Rwanda, where she is an activist for human rights and she founded the “Jya Mubandi Mwana” association helping seriously disabled children. In 1998 Jacqueline Mukansonera and Yolande Mukagasana received the “Alexander Langer” Testimonial Award in Bolzano. The Award was motivated with the fact that the human solidarity between the two women came first, even prior to getting to know each other. Jacqueline risked her life to save Yolande, thus proving that there is room for personal responsibility even in the midst of the most awful and extreme violence.

For Yolande the prize is motivated by the fact that, although the whole of her family was murdered, she fought not only for survival, but also for future remembrance and non-repeating with unfaltering courage.


Rwanda. Memorie di un genocidio, Photographs by Livio Senigalliesi, introduction by Daniele Scaglione, published by Impronta Grafica, Milan, 2004


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