‘Miracle’ MBE for genocide survivor Marie-Lyse
Rwandan genocide survivor Marie-Lyse Numuhoza has been made an MBE for services to human rights and the community in Norfolk.
Marie-Lyse came to the UK as a refugee, having witnessed much suffering and killing in the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 when she was a child.
She gives talks about her experiences and works tirelessly to ensure provision for refugees in Norfolk. She believes that in her escape to the UK she was given a second chance to live because she was meant to serve God, and she has been doing just that ever since. She was recognised in the Queen's birthday honours list.
Marie-Lyse said, "The MBE honour was a miracle to me, something I wouldn’t have expected in a million years. I appreciate the honour from the bottom of my heart. It is an answer to my prayers to be the Light of God’s wisdom and happiness in the world. It is also a sign that our prayers are answered but not always in the ways that we would expect. In the 20 years that I have lived in the UK I carried out all my duties guided by Jesus' message to humanity to "love one another as he loved us".
Surviving the Rwandan genocide was the beginning of a journey to a different life in the UK for Marie-Lyse, and one where she had to continue to fight against racism and as an advocate for other refugees, lobbying the local authority to support refugees in Norfolk.
Marie-Lyse said, “The MBE honour has made me stronger to be the voice for people working and living together in harmony. I hope to continue to inspire and empower many in this country, a country that has given me shelter and safety. I am forever proud and thankful to my family, friends and most importantly my colleagues in all the organisations that I am involved with and all the work we do dedicated to building a better future for the future generation. I will continue to pray that we all continue to shine the light of love and care to all God's creations".
Marie-Lyse is a board member of the Mother’s Union in Norwich, a Lay Canon at Norwich Cathedral and campaigner of women’s rights.
Photo by Norwich Cathedral