E. Africa

Timeline of Events


The Belgians, whom are in control of Rwanda, organize a census that demands every person be issued an identity card that assigns them an ethnicity as either Tutsi, Hutu, or Twa.


On December 9th a resolution is passed by the United Nations that defines genocide and declares it a crime under international law.


Rose Mapendo is born in Mulenge, Democratic Republic of Congo.


April 9

The Massacre at Gikondo occurs in Kigali, Rwanda. Hundreds of ethnic Tutsis are targeted and killed by Hutu majority in the Pallottine Missionary Catholic Church. The clear targeting of Tutsi people is the first sign that genocide is starting.

Rose moves to Mbuji-Mayi so her children can attend school while her husband starts his career as a butcher.

APRIL 15-16

The Nyarubuye Roman Catholic Church Massacre occurs in Rwanda, killing thousands of Tutsis.


The Kibuye Massacres occurs in Rwanda. 12,000 Tutsi are killed at the Gatwaro Stadium in Gitesi and another 50,000 are killed in Bisesero.

250,000+ Tutsi people flee to Tanzania for safety.


2 million Hutus flee into neighboring countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (then known as Zaire) to avoid Tutsi retribution.


The First Congo War begins.


The Second Congo War, known as the African World War, begins. Over a million Tutsi people are slaughtered.


Police officers show up to Rose’s house in search of her husband. Rose and her family flee to the eastern region for safety.


The Congo military invades the Mapendo household; Rose, her husband and 7 of their 8 children are captured and taken to a prison camp.


Rose’s family endures 16 months in the death camp. Rose’s husband is executed within the first 2 weeks. In order to save her son from being killed, Rose is forced to trade her 17-year-old daughter as a sex slave. Rose gives birth to twins and names them after commanders of the camp in hopes of saving her family. After months of being starved, tortured and systematically beaten because of their ethnicity, Rose and her family are transferred to a protection center run by the Red Cross.



Rose and her family arrive in the United States, residing in Phoenix, Arizona.


Proxy war waged between Rwanda and the Kinshasa. The Congo government is headed by Congolese Tutsi General Laurent Nkunda who aims to destroy Hutu rebels involved in the Democratic Forces for
the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) until 2008.


Rose is named ‘America’s Greatest Hometown Hero’ in the 5th Annual Volvo for Life Awards.


Governments from Rwanda and the DRC join to combat FDLR


Rose Mapendo nominated by Susan Sarandon, named a CNN Hero.


Ten years after being imprisoned with her family in the DRC, Rose speaks at the White House in honor of World Refugee Day.


EARLY 2010

Rose opens the first Women’s Center in DRC, offering local women the resources needed to learn, grow and survive.


Pushing the Elephant, a documentary following Rose’s story, premieres in New York City.


Rose founds the Rose Mapendo Foundation.


The Idaho Public Television aired a special educational module entitled ‘Refugee Advocate Rose Mapendo’


Rose receives the Unanima International Women of Courage Award


Together with the Rose Mapendo Foundation, we can continue to rebuild the lives of those devastated by conflict in eastern Africa. Donate today.

Today the slaughter of over 6.9 million people continues in the eastern African region.

Relief is possible, with your help.

Recent Events

More Info

Feeding Orphans

More Info

Fundraiser at Axiom Church

More Info

Peace Starts With Me

More Info

Valley Partnership Inspirational Fundraising Breakfast

More Info

House of Refuge Inspirational Breakfast

More Info

Expressions in Humanity Luncheon

More Info

Pushing the Elephant Documentary Luncheon

More Info

Women of Strength: Cultivating Leadership

Rose Visits Israel on Speaking Tour

Rose Attends U.N. Honoree Ceremony

Ben Affleck Supports Healing Efforts

Feeding Orphans Image

Feeding Orphans

Fundraiser at Axiom Church Image

Fundraiser at Axiom Church

In the fall of 2019 we held a fundraiser for the Rose Mapendo Foundation at Axiom Church. We used this time to share the documentary, Pushing the Elephant, about Rose and her family, what they experienced in Africa, and their journey coming to America. We also had a Q&A time where guests were able to ask Rose questions about her life and ministry, and also sold items that were made by women in Africa. We sold jewelry, clothing, bags, as well as t-shirts we made specifically for the foundation. It was a beautiful and fun experience to share with others what the foundation is doing, especially in regards to the Women Center United for Peace. We are about half-way through building this center in the Congo, and proceeds from this event went towards this project. We are so thankful to announce that we raised nearly $3000. If you are interested in hosting an event like this at your church or organization, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are hoping this event is one that continues on to reach more and more people. Head over to our News page to view more photos of our event by the very talented, Amber Joy Photography.

Peace Starts With Me Image

Peace Starts With Me


The Peace Starts With Me banquet was held in Tempe, Arizona by the Women’s Federation for World Peace. Rose was honored with the Ambassador For Peace Award by the The Universal Peace Federation and the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace.

Valley Partnership Inspirational Fundraising Breakfast Image

Valley Partnership Inspirational Fundraising Breakfast

70 people joined the Florence Crittenton phoenix staff for an inspirational breakfast on charting a new course for our lives. Rose spent the morning giving back to this group of survivors speaking on the power of women coming together to create change. Florence Crittendon creates safe environments where girls and young women can discover the support of a caring community and the possibility of a bright new future.

House of Refuge Inspirational Breakfast Image

House of Refuge Inspirational Breakfast

House of Refuge is a faith-based, non-profit organization helping homeless families in crisis by providing transitional housing and supportive services that assist participants as they strive towards self-sufficiency and seek to obtain permanent housing. Rose spoke to the women of HOR on finding victory in their circumstances and overcoming obstacles in life.

Expressions in Humanity Luncheon Image

Expressions in Humanity Luncheon

The foundation of this event is the community table. 12 people come once a month together with the realization that their is more to this life and it begins with expressing humanity in the smallest and biggest ways. The intention of this space is to create a safe haven for sharing with vulnerability. Rose spoke on finding hope and putting the past behind us.

Pushing the Elephant Documentary Luncheon Image

Pushing the Elephant Documentary Luncheon

Pushing the Elephant Luncheon: 45 Real Estate Industry Leaders joined for a fundraising event to support Roses mission trip to Africa 8/2015. Rose shared her 90 minute documentary;

A story of forgiveness, hope, and the joy of family life, Pushing the Elephant captures one woman’s mission for peace in her country beset by genocidal violence.

Women of Strength: Cultivating Leadership Image

Women of Strength: Cultivating Leadership

Hundreds of women gather together bi-yearly to celebrate the initiative of inspire, encourage, mentor and lead within the Real Estate community. This special event is based on women coming together regardless of affiliations to share their stories with authenticity and transparency.
Rose on finding forgiveness for her captors.