Karin and Alice

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Ms. Anonciata Makuza , Anselme Sadiki's elder sister, passed away on Oct. 7, 2001.

We gratefully appreciate your coorperation with raising fund for her medical bill, compensation of her memorial service, Anselme Sadiki's air fare between New York and Rwanda, and aid to the bereaved family.

Orphaned Karin(10) and Alice (7)

Story of Anselme's struggle and his support to Anonciata's illness








Please write checks payable to "Anselme Sadiki " (or pay by cash) and hand it in to one of our staff members or directly to Anselme Sadiki .


  • If entire SIPA students donate US$5.00 each, it will easily compensate for Anonciata's remaining medical bill.

  • US$30.00 can support the whole livelihood of a family member of Anselme for a month. 

  • US$60.00 can support the whole livelihood of Anselme's 8-membered entire family for a week.

Supporting from Japan: Please donate through bank wire transfer (FURIKOMI) to the bank account shown in THE RYOHEINAKAGAWA.COM FUND .



Story of Anselme's struggle and his support to Anonciata's illness:

"It was as if I was a butterfly, floating about in nothingness, not knowing what I was doing, or I was to go."

That's how Anselme Sadiki once described how he felt as a refugee, dead to his family for four years in the aftermath of Mobutu's 1990 ethnic cleansing in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), during which the National University of Zaire in Kinshasa was burned to the ground. Sadiki doesn't know how many of his friends and colleagues at the University died that night. He only knows that somehow, through something that he believes might be fate, he survived not only that night but the subsequent hellish years in and out og refugee camps in northern Kenya. In characteristic humility, he says "I accept my existence today as an omen that there must be a reason and purpose for my survival."

Having been accepted with partial funding to the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University, it is clear that several other people think there is a reason and purpose for Sadiki's survival as well. But we are getting ahead of the story.

In 1994, with the help of aid workers and an American professor who recognized something exceptional in the young refugee, Sadiki came to the United States. "I had never even considered coming here," he says now. "I was so surprised when the professor sent word that my passage was cleared." The alternative, of course, was slow starvation in refugee camps where for four years Sadiki helped to bury the newly dead on almost daily basis, and otherwise merely existed, "a butterfly, floating about in nothingness."

So, armed with " the useful survival language of Swahili" which he had picked up in the camps, Sadiki ended up in Iowa. From there, he was able to relocate his family, now in Rwanda. "We got word to my brother that I was alive and would call at a specified place and time. I guess they didn't believe that it was really me. But my brother agreed to take the phone call, saying, 'Okay, let's just see who this guy thinks he is.' I called and said 'yeah, it's really me! I am really alive!'" Sadiki's eyes shine with fresh tears as he talks about the moment. "You really wouldn't have believed it," he says, laughing. "We were on the phone for two hours, and we hardly talked. All we did was cry!"

When he arrived in Iowa, Sadiki's host family had already decided to take a new job, at Idaho State University in Pocatello. Still struggling with English, Sadiki went with them. "I didn't know 'Pocatello, Idaho' from Timbuktu!" he quips, a past master already at American idioms. Now, six years later, having confronted the "mysteries of culture, snow and ice," with a bachelor's degree in social work under his belt, the University's new African Student Recruitment Program to his credit - as well as under his directorship - and the good will of a growing hoard of Americans and Africans alike behind him, Anselme Sadiki is taking on New York. Eventually, with a master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia (SIPA), he'd like to get back to Africa and try to change that world, too.

However, his acceptance at Columbia is a mixed blessing. The partial scholarship would allow him to live frugally in New York but does not provide for tuition, a figure approaching $25,000 per year including books and fees. Sadiki's former position at Idaho State University allows him to support his parents, siblings, nieces and nephews in Rwanda. But that, too, grows more difficult.

His sister, Anonciata, was suffering from chronic and painful digestive disorder that has eluded diagnosis. Doctors thought the offending organ might be her appendix. So Sadiki paid for an appendectomy. Unfortunately, the surgery solved nothing and seriously weakened the already emaciated mother of two. He thought that maybe if he brought Anonciata here, just for a few months, perhaps she could have got the treatment, clean water and rest she needs to make a recovery. 

To that end, Sadiki's friends and supporters in Pocatello founded a gastroenterologist in Salt Lake City willing to donate time and expertise if a sponsor willing to pay some of the costs of diagnosis and treatment can be found. Local musical talent organized playing benefit concerts in Pocatello to help raise money. Continental Airline has agreed to bring Anonciata from New York City to Salt Lake City if KLM or British Airways would donate a seat from Kigali (Rwanda) to JFK. 


Consequently, so much to people's great chagrin, the mission failed when she was denied at the American Embassy in Kigali, Rwanda.

It was a Monday morning that my roommate Anselme came back into our apartment from SIPA, saying our usual 'yo!', but in a tiny hoarse voice. I felt something wrong......Anonciata passed away, October 7, aged 34. 

reference:  Idaho State Journal ...Article on Anonciata's death.




Ryohei Nakagawa    
(Anselme's roommate,  SIPA, Columbia Univ.)

Yasuyuki Watanabe  
(SIPA, Columbia Univ.)