Obituaries offer a glimpse into a person's life. Often we learn of remarkable accomplishments through these brief summaries. Anne Heyman is a woman who transformed lives, offering life-saving hope.She is a woman whose legacy we should know.
In 2005, when Anne Heyman learned of the 1.2 million orphans left behind from the genocide in Rwanda, she decided to make a difference in their futures. She determined that villages for the children – like the ones in Israel for young Holocaust survivors – could offer hope.
Heyman, a New York attorney turned philanthropist, raised $12 million, acquired 144 acres in eastern Rwanda and built 32 houses. The village was named Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village – “Agahozo” means “a place where tears are dried.” The village opened in 2008 welcoming children orphaned from the 1994 genocide, next children whose parents had died of AIDS came to the village, and now other vulnerable children are welcomed, too.
Heyman’s village houses about 500 children who attend school, farm the land, learn trades, record music and perhaps most importantly, belong to a family who loves and cares for them.
Anne Heyman, 52, died on January 31 after falling from a horse. She sustained head injuries followed by cardiac arrest.
Anne Heyman, inspired by the tragedy of the Holocaust, spent her education, money and passion to save orphaned children. May her remarkable legacy of healing and compassion continue.
(S-R archive illustration)