Uwimana Clarisse “Copine”
Copine is 19 years old and lives in Nyarutarama, a slum in Kigali.
She is from a family of three kids, and she is the youngest. Her father died during the Rwandan genocide, and her mother died of malaria in 2005. Her aunt raised her, but she didn’t show her any love. She was forced to walk a long distance to go to school, and her “family” would eat all of the food by the time that she was able to walk home. She often went hungry. She was forced to use school materials that were already used, only giving her the opportunity to use the last few pages. Because of her long walk and the issue of safety, she often got to school late. Went she was 6 years old she was sent by her auntie to become someone’s housemaid. Not a glamorous job. She did that for a few months, but returned to her aunties’ house and tried to go back to school, but they wouldn’t accept her due to the aunties’ lack of cooperation. She then went back to be a housemaid but only made around 3 dollars a month. She was forced to return to her aunties’ house. The verbal abuse continued, and physical abuse started. Her cousin would get drunk and become very violent with her. She was only able to come “home” when she was sure that he was asleep. They were still verbally abusive because she was quieted by fear, which they interpreted as hatred towards them. She got a job doing hard physical labor for a construction crew. She was still very young at this point. She hit a very low point in life and tried to commit suicide. She began attending parties and clubs. She acquired a strong drinking habit. She was approached by many men to stay with them, but made a decision not to after seeing how others in those situations have come out. The men tried to rape her several times, but she was able to escape their drunken fits.
She still lives with this family, and the abuse still continues. She has no choice but to stay though. She can either become a street kid or maybe have a place to sleep and occasionally get a bite to eat. She has troubles with the darkness in her heart and hatred towards her family. She recognizes that she shouldn’t have hate in her heart but she struggles with forgiving them.
She has been saved several times, and has had a rollercoaster of a relationship with the lord. She has tried many different churches, but has slipped back several times. She has been on track for a long time now, and appears to have changed her life. She would love to just finish her schooling. Her favorite bible verse is in Samuel 2, and specifically the story about Hannah.