About Clemantine Wamariya
Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when the genocide began in Rwanda.
She and her sister Claire fled across the border to Burundi. They found themselves among a sea of refugees - with no immediate access to shelter, food, or other supplies. While international aid soon improved conditions, they constantly struggled to survive. Because of rumors of continued troubles inside Rwanda, they wandered from refugee camp to refugee camp for six years.
In 2000, Wamariya and her sister gained asylum in the United States, and they settled in Chicago. A year later, Wamariya learned that her parents had survived the genocide. In 2006, Wamariya won Oprah Winfrey's National High School Essay Contest that asked, "Why is Elie Wiesel's book Night relevant today?" The Oprah Winfrey Show surprised Wamariya and her sister Claire by reuniting them with their family on the show.
Wamariya has become an eloquent advocate against genocide today.