From Colville to Rwanda

Barry and Shelley Bacon recently returned from working four months in Rwanda, Africa the scene of terrible genocide in 1994, where 800,000 people were killed in 100 days. Many children were left orphaned by the atrocity, and one man is raising 35 of these children, most of who were orphaned as a result of the genocide. “He desperately needs assistance with their food and education, and you can help,” says Shelley Bacon. The public is invited to a free dinner where attendees can choose lovely vocal/choral, piano, and instrumental music from the “menu” for a donation that will benefit Jean Bosco and his orphanage in Kabgayi. The event will be held Saturday, Jan. 14 at 4:30 p.m., 570 Hotchkiss Road, Colville. Call 509-675-5003 for directions if needed. According to Mrs. Bacon, Bosco is not your typical family medicine resident. He works as a physician in Kabgayi, one of the three family medicine training sites. He looks like he is about 50 years old, by far the oldest of the residents. It is his story though that makes him so different. Bosco was training in medicine in Algeria and Tunisia from 1986-92, until he returned to Rwanda and began working in Kabgayi. He was working there in 1994, when the genocide occurred. Kabgayi, like so much of the country, was hit hard. During the genocide, the Belgian physicians fled to Europe, the Rwandan physicians to Congo and Burundi. Students and nurses escaped the mass murders as well. The Interahamwe, a Hutu paramilitary organization, were killing people throughout the town and surrounding areas. Bosco stayed by himself for much of the time, working day and night doing what he could to clean wounds and treat infections. He also hid many women in the maternity department during the genocide. *Read the complete story in the Statesman-Examiner!