Anne Heyman's Sudden Death Plunges Rwanda School Into Mourning

Heartbroken Orphan Students Pay Tribute to 'Second Mother'

From Celebration to Mourning: Rwandan students sing songs of praise for founder Anne Heyman at a graduation ceremony this month. The school was plunged into mourning by the Jewish philanthropist’s sudden death.
Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village
From Celebration to Mourning: Rwandan students sing songs of praise for founder Anne Heyman at a graduation ceremony this month. The school was plunged into mourning by the Jewish philanthropist’s sudden death.

By Dave Goldiner

Published February 02, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

Even after the school opened in 2008, Heyman was a regular and frequent visitor the school, coming four or five times a year on trips lasting several days at a time.

Emmanuel Nkundunkundiye
Emmanuel Nkundunkundiye

Students recalled her inspirational talks, where she would encourage them to help build Rwanda by making the best of their unusual opportunity to get a high-quality education.

The school’s director said Heyman told children to look at the school as a kind of “candy store” where they should grab whatever they could that would help them grow as individuals, and Rwandans.

“We will honor her life,” he said. “We won’t let that message die.”

Nkundunkundiye, the recent graduate, said students especially respected Heyman for spending so much time with the students offering one-on-one guidance and advice about overcoming the everyday challenges of life.

He said the biggest loss to the school — even greater than any possible financial blow — would be her absence to future generations of students.

“We are like the seeds she planted and we want to be the fruit that grows,” he said. “I have her words in my heart, today and for ever.”

Contact Dave Goldiner on Twitter @davidgoldiner


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • 13 Israeli soldiers die in Gaza — the deadliest day for the IDF in decades. So much for 'precision' strikes and easy exit strategies.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.