In the summer after her freshman year, Liliane won a Peace Fellowship to support her work in a Rwandan women and children's organization that addressed legacies of genocide. Liliane is a gifted orator, a prize winner in the Bailey Oratorical contest at Juniata and she frequently makes public speeches for social justice, not only on the Juniata campus, but also internationally. In the summer of 2017, Liliane was an intern at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, where she gave numerous public presentations on redressing genocide. Liliane returned to Rwanda in the summer of 2017 where she created, funded and facilitated a retreat for women survivors of the genocide, many of whom had been raped and impregnated. The retreat she created aligned with best practice in narrative community work with traumatized people, and has resulted in enhanced networking among the women, and an increase in well-being. She created a video of her work with the retreat and will follow up with further collaboration and research.Liliane is deeply committed to doing the difficult work of peacebuilding and reconciliation in her home country and in other places around the world where people have experienced trauma at the hands of those in positions of power. Juniata is proud to support her work.
I was two years old during the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. Though I was too young to recall specific details of what happened, I grew up suffering the consequences of that atrocity in every corner of my life. As I got older and realized that there are people who are still facing injustice in the world, I committed to do what I could to prevent history from repeating itself. I got involved in advocacy and activism to create awareness, through the sharing my story and the stories of victims of atrocities who cannot raise their voices. On my campus I am a member of PAX-O, a student-run peace and social justice club, and have helped to organize International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the annual Genocide Awareness and Action Week. I have worked with organizations that provide survivors of the Rwandan genocide with economic empowerment and psychological support. I raised $5,000 and organized a retreat for 30 of those women, with the goal of giving them a safe and nurturing environment where they can freely share their experiences, and, with the guidance of counselors, help each other heal. I remain committed to this work and intend to make this an annual event.