Meet Jacqueline, a restaurant owner in Rwanda.
Jacqueline Makamusoni became the sole provider for her family after her husband, a soldier, was killed. But life got even worse for the widowed mother of five from Rwanda when she lost her teaching job.
Read her story
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Rwanda's population of close to 9 million is made up almost entirely of two people groups, the majority Hutus and the minority (but politically dominant) Tutsis. Despite many similarities, the two groups have a long history of bitter conflict.
Over a three-month period in 1994, nearly 1 million Rwandans, most of them Tutsis, were killed in the largest genocide Africa has seen in modern times. Communities were torn apart as neighbor killed neighbor, leaving many orphaned children and separated families. This devastating event shocked the world and left an indelible mark on Rwandan society. Today, political and ethnic tensions continue to challenge peace-building and reconciliation efforts in communities throughout the nation.
Rwanda, which is roughly the size of the state of Maryland, is the second smallest country in Africa and also the most densely populated. About 90 percent of its people are engaged in agriculture. Most are subsistence farmers who grow coffee, tea, bananas, and a variety of other crops. Unfortunately, the ongoing effects of the conflict have had a crippling effect on Rwanda's economy. Nearly two-thirds of the population lives below the poverty line.
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