September 27, 2013

Refugee Advocate Rose Mapendo

Rose Mapendo

Marcia Franklin talks with former Congolese refugee Rose Mapendo about her life and her work advocating on behalf of refugees. During the genocide in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the late 1990s, Mapendo's husband was executed and she and her family were imprisoned in a death camp. There, under dire circumstances, she gave birth to twins and tried to keep the rest of her children alive, enduring horrific experiences.

Today, Mapendo lives in Phoenix and works as an advocate for refugees. In 2009, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees named her the United Nations Humanitarian of the Year for her work. Franklin talks with her about her journey of forgiveness and reconciliation, life in America, her return to the DRC to help women in her former country, and her reunification with her daughter Nangabire, from whom she was separated for more than a decade. A film about Mapendo, Pushing the Elephant, aired on Independent Lens/PBS.