Kigali - Day 2 - Yoga class with Nassim (35)


Well, here goes Nassim’s story ...

Newly-wed Nassim was 15 when people in her country started this horrible thing which was to go down in history as “Rwandan Genocide”. Her husband got murdered brutally; she herself got abducted and was gang-raped for months. A militarist of the Rwandan Patriotic Front finally saved her. Nassim was HIV-infected and pregnant. Her liberator married her and accepted little Trésor as a son. At the age of seven, Trésor was found to have been HIV-infected during his birth. Nassim’s “salvator” beat up mother and son and left them both.

When Deirdre met Nassim, she at once saw her talent and decided to train her as a yoga instructor. One morning, Nassim was on her way to work. The moto taxi that took her along got crashed by a SUV of some European, the accident leaving Nassim's leg completely smashed. Having been distracted by her mobile, the driver, a wealthy woman, was found guilty beyond doubt; however, as things were, no charges were brought against neither her nor her insurance. Like more than 90 % of the Rwandan population, Nassim cannot afford an insurance, hence she had none. So she had to get her leg amputated; surgery and post-treatment were paid by Project Air.

Deirdre managed to secure the NGO Limbs for Life as a sponsor. It took two and a half years for Nassim to have a prosthesis that half way works for her. Still it is too large, causing pressure on her hip bones. As a result, Nassim does her yoga instructions one-legged, “and she does so greatly,” Deirdre points out.