Rwandan Daughters Book and Aid Project News

Support for the ‘Rwandan Daughters’ started well

Almost 15 months after the publication of the book and aid project ‘Rwandan Daughters‘, the initiators, photographer Olaf Heine, the aid organizations ora Kinderhilfe international e.V. and Solace Ministries, the spring brand ideas agency and the Hatje Cantz publishing house are taking stock. The publication of the book by Hatje Cantz Verlag, numerous press and television reports (including CNN, BBC, Guardian, Die ZEIT, and Süddeutsche Zeitung), the accompanying exhibitions at the Museum Frieder Burda Salon Berlin, and Berlin PhotoWeek, supported by Volkswagen Kulturstiftung, have drawn a great deal of attention to the subject of ‘Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War’.

Furthermore, the publication was able to provide tangible help to the women and daughters portrayed. Several sponsorships for the Rwandan women and daughters were arranged, financing for the purchase of a plot of land and a house was secured and the costs of the victims’ tuition fees were collected. The children of the women, who became pregnant as a result of the rapes and who had babies, are now 25 years old. Most of them are in the middle of studying or completing their education. In Rwanda, both are subject to fees.

In the current situation of the Corona crisis, all the women and people portrayed in the book have also been able to receive financial donations to help them better survive the Covid-19 epidemic. More than 200 people were provided with food for at least one month as well as cash donations to buy necessary goods. In this way the initiators would like to thank all supporters and donors.

The project ‘Rwandan Daughters’ is about the victims – mothers and daughters – of the genocide in Rwanda. In spring 1994 thousands of soldiers, militiamen and followers raped up to 500.000 women and girls. This is the figure on which Unicef, the children’s aid organisation, is based. Many women became pregnant by their rapists and had children. From 2016 to 2018, the Berlin photographer Olaf Heine has portrayed Rwandan mothers with their daughters resulting from these rapes.

Some of them still have a distant relationship, for others the child was the only reason to go on living. Many of the women are severely traumatized. For the photographs for the book ‘Rwandan Daughters’, the women chose, together with the photographer, places that refer to the circumstances of the rape: a river, a field, a church. Rwanda is now the first country in the world to have equality for women enshrined in its constitution.

Further information about the project and the possibility to order books and make donations can be found here: Rwandan Daughters, ora Kinderhilfe

Please find the PDF of the press release here!