10 Dramatic Acts of Human Kindness


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Iphigenia Mukantabana Forgave Jean-Bosco Bizimana
A May 11, 1994 photo of refugee camp in Tanzania where more than 300,000 mostly Rwandan Hutus lived after fleeing the Tutsi-led rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front. The RPF entered Rwanda to stop the genocide of Tutsis by the ruling Hutus. © Paula Bronstein/Liaison/Getty Images

In 1994, ethnic fighting between the Hutus and Tutsis people of central Africa was raging, and it was that year Iphigenia Mukantabana's husband and five children were slaughtered by Hutu militia. In fact, it was her neighbor, Jean-Bosco Bizimana, who helped commit the horrors against her family.

Ten years later, Iphigenia is in the basket-making business -- part of the Rwanda Path to Peace project with Macy's department stores in the U.S. -- with master weaver Epiphania Mukanyndwi, who happens to be the wife of Jean-Bosco Bizimana.

Jean-Bosco served a seven-year prison sentence for the atrocities he committed during the genocide, but it was his public request for forgiveness at a Rwandan gacaca court that helped Iphigenia move on with life and forgive Bizimana for his wrongs.

Author's Note: 10 Dramatic Acts of Human Kindness

The day I began writing this article, bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, and immediately I was relieved to be researching stories of goodness instead of reading stories of hatred. It's refreshing to take a break from the chaos of the world and visit some stories of compassion instead, and maybe pick up a little inspiration along the way.

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