Saturday, June 4, 2011

Rose Mapendo

Today's very AWESOME WOMAN is Rose Mapendo - who, with her brother Dr. Kigabo Mbazumutima, launched Mapendo New Horizons ("MNH"). MNH is a non-profit organization committed to promoting health, peace, reconciliation and equity in African territories, including the Great Lakes region, where extreme violence and abuse have left countless survivors -- especially women and children -- in need of medical, emotional, and social healing.

As civil war escalated in her homeland in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Rose, her husband and seven of her eight children were arrested and imprisoned in a death camp after President Kabila announced that their ethnic group was the enemy. While in prison, Rose's captors executed her husband and very soon thereafter, she learned that she was pregnant. Rose delivered premature twins by herself on the concrete slab floor of her jail cell, using a piece of wood to cut the umbilical cords and tying the cords with strands of her hair. After surviving sixteen months of horrendous conditions in the death camp, Ms. Mapendo was rescued by an American peace-keeping group and resettled in the United States. Once resettled, she commenced her efforts as a global advocate for peace and reconciliation.

In 2009, Rose Mapendo won the United Nations Humanitarian of the Year Award. Rose's inspiring life story has been chronicled in the documentary film Pushing The Elephant, which premiered in New York City in June 2010. (More links below the video)

Facebook fan page:
Mapendo's New Horizons (Rose's bio page)
Interview with Mapendo:

AWU post at