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Dublin: 10°C Friday 7 May 2021

Young girl who featured on 2004 Trócaire box visits Ireland to say thank you

Josiane is now working for the charity in Rwanda.

Josiane recreating the photograph on the 2004 Trócaire box with a pupil from a Dublin school.
Josiane recreating the photograph on the 2004 Trócaire box with a pupil from a Dublin school.
Image: Mark Stedman

A YOUNG GIRL who featured on the front of the 2004 Trócaire box has come to Dublin to thank the people of Ireland for their donations.

Josiane Umumarashavu (26) from Rwanda visited St Colmcille’s National School in Knocklyon, Dublin and recreated her picture with school children.

Josiane featured on more than one million boxes distributed nationwide during Lent in 2004. Her father, sister and two of her brothers were killed during the Rwandan genocide. Her mother and two brothers survived but were struggling to make ends meet as they lived off a small piece of land, constantly facing hunger.

Donations to Trócaire helped provide her family with farming equipment which helped them improve how much food they were able to produce.

Josiane graduated from university and now works for Trócaire in Rwanda. Her visit to Ireland is her first ever trip abroad. She highlighted how important the donations were to her and her community.

32341348684_7792f46275_o Josiane graduating from college in 2015.

“When I was a child we struggled to find enough to eat and we faced hunger. Thanks to Trócaire supporters, families like mine were provided with the different farming equipment we needed to grow more food.

The support from the people in Ireland continued to help me and my family long after that campaign had finished. Life is definitely better now. We have a home, a piece of land, cows and goats. Because of this support I was able to finish my schooling.

“I still have a copy of the photograph and the Trócaire box in my home,” she said. “It makes me very happy to look at it and to think that people in Ireland saw my photo and thought about life in Rwanda.

“It was amazing to think that people from a different country were interested in my family. I am so happy to be in Ireland to say thank you and I’m very happy to be now part of the Trócaire team making changes in people’s lives in Rwanda.”

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