Ndabaramiye’s life is an inspirational story of resilience and triumph. In 1998, several years after the Rwandan genocide, Ndabaramiye was on a bus by the Interahamwe, a military group that had been very active during the country’s genocide. The group ordered Ndabaramiye to kill the other passengers on the bus and he defiantly refused. To punish him and send a message to the others, the military group murdered all the other passengers aboard and cut off Ndabaramiye’s hands.
This atrocious injustice that happened to Ndabaramiye caused him to spend the next six months in a coma and to grapple with severe depression after. This moment in his life inspired him to become an advocate for those with disabilities. He shares his story through painting, biking and community involvement. He is the co-founder of a community center in Rwanda that teaches practical skills to adults with disabilities and includes a preschool and elementary school for the youth of Rwanda. These schools were built in part with the aid of the Santa Barbara Congregation B’nai Brith. Ndabaramiye’s story has been told through a short documentary called I Am Able, created by Santa Barbara filmmakers that met Ndabaramiye in Rwanda.
For more information, visit thesquirefoundaton.org or call 805/964-2325.