Brother José Aniceto Ramírez Zorrilla – From Mexico to Rwanda

Brother José Aniceto Ramírez Zorrilla – From Mexico to Rwanda

Brother Aniceto arrived in Kisaro, Rwanda, in 2003. Up to the year before that, he had been working with street children in the Ivory Coast.

“Brother Yemanu Jehar Kiar was Councillor for RELAF in those years, and he asked me to come to Rwanda. He did not tell me why, and I did not ask for any reasons”, says Aniceto calmly.

“I arrived in Intiganda, which is an establishment for street children, and one year later I moved to a centre for agriculture, where those in charge asked me to open a school. In January 2006 (officially in 2007) the La Salle School Kirenge started operating, and I was the Director until a short time ago”.

Currently, there are three hundred children in the school, in the infants, primary and secondary sections, and there are 25 teachers involved in the project. “Among the different classes, there are four that we call ‘V.I.P.’ which are for boys aged 14 to 18 who have not been able to attend school on a regular basis, and so they generally need to be taught the basics. The main subjects offered are electronics, art, carpentry and tailoring, and this will give them a chance of future employment.”

Inevitably, the conversation comes round to the terrible war in Rwanda which witnessed the infamous genocide of the Tutsi in 1994. “People do not like to talk about that period”, says Brother Aniceto. “They only open up and confide in people they already trust.”

A final thought about what people are currently experiencing in the country. “Rwanda is a marvellous land which is still being discovered and understood. What strikes me is the silence, and the protective attitude people show to you, once they get to know you. Brother Aniceto smiles and evidently feels affection for the people, after so many years spent among them. “I do not know where the Lord will take me in the future. My vocation is to respond with a ‘yes’ to every call. I am ready, and I will always be ready, to go where my mission leads me.”

Interview by Ilaria Iadeluca – Director of Communications
Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, Rome.


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