Loving Mother of the Children of Imbabazi
1912 - 2006
I cannot speak about Rwanda without also
speaking about my friend, Roz Carr, one of Africa's heroines,
In 1994, the genocide left nearly 400,000 of Rwanda's children
orphans. Roz writes in her wonderful autobiography, Land
of a Thousand Hills, written with her niece, Ann Howard
Halsey, that in August of '94, when she returned to Rwanda and
her home Mugongo, and saw the devastation, she wondered,
"Was it possible to start over again in a country whose
soul had been extinguished? Could I find it in my heart to forgive
the desecration of an entire country and its people?
My answers would be found in the enduring beauty of Rwanda's
thousand hills, in the quiet courage and effortless faith of
Sembagare, and in the faces of the children whose innocence
had been so savagely taken away and lost forever."
The Imbabazi Orphanage is Born
And so, in the Fall of '94 with Sembagare
and the help of Ann Halsey, and relief organizations from
around the world, Roz Carr converted an old building on
her own property into a safe haven and the Imbabazi Orphanage
At 82, Roz became a mother for the first time to over
one hundred children.
In the ten years that followed, Roz, the
children and staff had to move four times because of attacks
and destruction by the Hutu Interahamwe. Through it all, the
children and the orphanage continued to flourish. The children
went to school, attended church on Sunday, and had visiting
nurses and doctors...and lost of hugs!
In November of 2005, Imbabazi moved again, but this time it
was to go home. A permanent home was built at Mugongo for Imbabazi.
Roz and Sembagare, all the children and staff were finally home
and Roz had realized her dream.
Carr was the Recipient of the 2004 Volvo for Life Award
Thousands of miles away, in Times Square,
in New York City on April 7th, Rosamond Carr's extraordinary
life and contributions were honored. She was the 2004 recipient
of the Volvo
for Life Award. Ann Halsey, her niece, represented Roz.
On Rwanda, Roz writes, "This country that I love has
given me much. Rwanda is my home and it is here that I intend
to spend the rest of my days. Its beauty is my inspiration.
Its struggles have been my struggles. Its grief has been my
deepest sorrow. Its people are my strength, and its children
are my greatest joy."
Rosamond Carr grew up in New Jersey and became a fashion illustrator
in New York City. She made Rwanda her home in 1949 and lived
in this country that she dearly loved for 57 years.
It is with great sadness that I write that Rosamond Carr died
on September 29, 2006. Rwanda has lost a great friend. And so
have all of us who were privileged to have known her kindness
and strength, her generosity and love. My time with Roz Carr
and the children of Imbabazi was pure joy. Thank you, Roz. We
will never forget you.
more about Roz Carr, Imbabazi, the children and their beautiful
photography project, "Through the Eyes of Children."
Give yourself a treat and visit this gorgeous site,http://www.rwandaproject.org
If you would like to make a donation to the Imbabazi Orphanage in Rwanda, where
Rosamond Carr�s work will be carried on, please make your check payable to:
PIC/Roz Carr Memorial Fund. Your contribution is fully deductible and will go directly
to Imbabazi. The Columbus Zoo is a 501-3(c) organization.
Roz Carr Memorial Fund
Partners In Conservation
Attn: Charlene Jendry
P.O. Box 400
Powell, Oh 43065 USA
If you would like more information about Partners In Conservation,
visit the Columbus
Zoo Web site or send an e-mail directly to