Clemantine Wamariya

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Horrific memories will always haunt Clemantine Wamariya, who was just a 6-year-old child in Rwanda when she says she hid in a banana tree, listening to the screams coming from her grandparents' house as members of her family were murdered.

Clemantine and her 16-year-old sister, Claire, were left to fend for themselves. They say they hid for 100 terrifying days and then spent six years in refugee camps across Africa, always holding out hope that their parents survived and they would one day be reunited.

Clemantine and Claire moved to America in 2000. The two sisters continued to search for their parents, contacting the Red Cross, UNICEF and other organizations, but had no success. Then, one day, through a chance meeting at the home of an acquaintance, Clemantine and Claire got the news that their mother and father were both alive!

The family soon reconnected over the phone, but Clemantine and Claire haven't seen their parents in person since the genocide began 12 years ago. They even have two new siblings they've never met!
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FROM: The 50 Young People Oprah Wants You to Meet
Published on May 25, 2006

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