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Florence's Story
Rwanda
April 1999
Age: 15 years

Being eleven years old and having no parents to look after you is scary enough - but imagine your neighbours then chasing you from your home.

That's what happened to Florence four years ago in Rwanda, so you can imagine her concern when her brother then set off without her to find their uncle.

"Our neighbours had just chased us away from home after the 1994 genocide because our late mother had been a Tutsi," she says.

The neighbours were scared that Florence and her brother would bring danger to the area.

"They argued that rebels entering our village in Ruhengeri - right next to the Zaire border - were likely to attack our village if they learnt of our Tutsi background.

"My brother Jean Marie left ahead of me to scout for our uncle Evariste, who is a tailor. I fled to the Rwanda capital of Kigali, where I stayed with a family I had met in Ruhengeri," she said.

It took a while, but Jean Marie did finally locate their Uncle Evariste, and together they started the search for Florence.

"It was only in 1998, after having been lost for four years that I found them, after World Vision helped me trace them to Nyamata town.

"I was overjoyed to see my brother and uncle. And now, I have new brothers and sisters as well: six sisters and three brothers apart from Jean Marie. Besides, I have a new Dad and Mum - Uncle Evariste and his wife Françoise.

"I'm happy with them. And I like Nyamata much more than the two previous places I lived in. During the genocide, I saw people getting killed with machetes, stones and bullets. To forget the horrors I saw then, I work hard around our new home and learn tailoring skills from Uncle Evariste."