Perspective of Ange-Marie

Rwandan Ange-Marie Nziraguseswa joined the Mercy Ships team in Lausanne to complete a year's internship.

« I was interested in working for Mercy Ships because I was very touched by their work in Africa. Their work on behalf of the African people, particularly the medical care they offered, moved me deeply.

Being born in Africa and having grown up there motivates me in my everyday work because I know the reality on the ground. I arrived in Switzerland in 1999 as a refugee from the genocide that had started in my country, Rwanda, in 1994. It wasn't easy for me to find myself in a country about which I knew nothing and to have to reconstruct my life without my family.  

My personal experience allows me to identify with the stories of the people we're helping, like, for example, Alimamy. I know what it means to lose everything that's dearest in the world; parents, brother and sisters as well as childhood friends. To find oneself without anyone to lean on when one is still a minor is very difficult. Alimamy will have to face the consequences of the civil war for a long time, but I'm sure he's rediscovered a new hope for the future thanks to the help he received onboard.

In my view, it's important to bring about lasting change in Africa because, as one of our sayings goes: « Instead of giving a child a fish, teach him to fish»! It's necessary to give concrete assistance, but also to transfer knowledge to Africans so that they provide for themselves more and more. I'd like to encourage everyone to get involved to make a difference in Africa. The needs are still enormous, but I'm still hoping that one day the situation will change.»