“In Paul Klee’s Angelus Novus the angel’s eyes are wide open, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. He looks as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His face is turned towards the past. He sees catastrophe, wanting to awaken the dead and make whole what has been smashed.” Godelieve Mukasarasi is the angel caught in the past, but pushed towards the future. In place of wings she has long tapering fingers; her gestures are decisive, harmonious, frequently touching her heart, her beautiful hand is open. She often looks up to the sky, a habit accompanied by a smile which overwhelms the person who is looking at her; her cheeks become more rounded, her high cheekbones less pronounced. She makes whole what has been smashed. She heals the wounds of the soul. Reconciling with life Godelieve. She lights up, she listens to women who have been contaminated by horror, contaminated by men who destroy, by AIDS, and by ignorance, the font of all hatred and disgust. She holds out her tapered fingers and moves towards the future. But the future in Rwanda is not simple. They talk about it, they spread their propaganda and they talk of reconciliation and of the thousand brilliant green hills, the clouds and the fertile fields. But what about the wounds of the past? The bleeding wounds of the genocide? Can they be healed? Yes, it is possible. Reconciliation, but forgiving does not mean forgetting. “April is approaching. In my body I feel my aching wounds; the scars seem fresh and have never healed. Although there are two months to go I already feel the rain falling, its sound, its smell.” It was also raining that April of twenty years ago when the Genocide of the Tutsis started. That is what the United Nations has decreed it will be called from now on. Suddenly Agnes falls silent, overcome by a panic attack. Godelieve sits down beside her and offers her some water. Godelieve appears impassive; she listens to what Agnes is saying, she takes notes, but she already knows her story well, just as she knows by heart the stories of thousands of women she has supported, enlightened and reconciled with life these past twenty years. Names, dates, number of children and how many survived the genocide and how many were the result of war rape carried out methodically by whole squadrons infected with AIDS. In those days in April, Godelieve had a dream. She was standing in a large church and women and children were coming in crying, but leaving smiling, and she was there to welcome them. And she a Hutu, who had rejected the aberration of the genocide, but paid a high price nonetheless. At the end of 1994 she set up SEVOTA: Solidarité pour l’Épanouissement des Veuves et des Orphelins visant le Travail et l’Autopromotion. Their headquarters is in Kamonyi district, about an hour from Kigali, where Godelieve had moved to some years earlier when she had just started her job as a social worker. There are many SEVOTA women and they operate in small autonomous groups, sharing their experiences of being survivors and having suffered unspeakable violence. Together they are free to talk about themselves, to talk about what happened without shame. Social psychotherapy, individual and group sessions, a course of active participation accomplished together to counter post-traumatic stress disorder and encourage self-esteem and social reintegration.