Peter Tassi

Peter Tassi

Author, Screenwriter, Playwright, Mission Worker

Author, Screenwriter, Playwright, Mission Worker

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Rwanda Mission



Priest Brings Hope to Survivors
Peter Tassi looked into the eyes of those gathered around him - survivors and offspring of the 1994 Rwandan genocide that some now say may have taken more than a million lives.

"You are from the superpower, from paradise," they told the Hamilton Catholic high school chaplin. "Where were you in 1994 with your planes and your bombs? Why didn't you come to help us?"

"It chokes me up," he says now, back in the safe confines of Canada and far from the site of that almost unimaginable horror. "What do you say? I just said, 'I'm sorry we didn't come.'"

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Peter's Visit:

With his own money, Peter made a trip to Rwanda to see first-hand the suffering occurring in the heart of Africa.

Photographic Tour of Rwanda and
Father Hermann's Mission:

Watch Video

There is very little food available for the people of Rwanda. What little food they do have they prepare and cook outside their mud huts, working on the African mattress.



The children walk long distances every day to fetch a pale of water. They get their water for drinking, cooking and cleaning from the river that is contaminated.



These children carry the water for long distances, up and down steep hills, as often as three times a day. They bring it home to waiting families who need it to boil cassava or bananas and to use it to drink.



Many children are barefoot, dressed in tattered clothes and malnourished. When mothers or children get sick with malaria or any other ailment, there is no place for them to get treatment.



In spite of the crushing poverty of Rwanda, the people have a strong faith and adults and children find joy in the simplest of things. They will play soccer with a ball made of string or make up games with stones.



Children use the river to swim and bathe. The water is unclean and there are snakes, but the children are refreshed and have fun as they cool off on hot days.



The Rwandans live in homes made of mud and straw. Some use banana leaves for a roof. They are small round huts and this is where the entire family sleeps, on the African mattress. Besides his orphanage of 300 children, Father Hermann builds these people beautiful stone houses, roughly 20 feet by 20 feet. His roofs are made of tin.



This boy floats on the river on a boat he made of twigs. He uses a wooden stick and a string to fish in the hopes of catching a fish for his family to eat.



Father takes in hundreds of children who are orphaned and offers them an education in his school, health care, food, clean water and electricity. However, there are those older children who live alone and survive on their own.



Father's mission cannot take in every child who is left to survive on their own. Older teens such as this one cooks a meal outside his mud hut. As difficult as life is, Father is always close by to help him if he runs into trouble.



In the genocide of 1994, 1280 children and adults ran to the church for refuge. They were all killed. Father built this shrine at the side of his church as a remembrance to that day and all those who were killed in his village and orphanage.



The Rwandans live in homes made of mud and straw. Some use banana leaves for a roof. They are small round huts and this is where the entire family sleeps, on the African mattress. Besides his orphanage of 300 children, Father Hermann builds these people beautiful stone houses, roughly 20 feet by 20 feet. His roofs are made of tin.



This woman sits against a tree to breast feed her child. She was not feeling well that day. She had a fever, perhaps malaria. Her other baby sits and plays in the dirt not far away.



Father will help the village people of Musha by providing them with food and medical care. This woman and her family look forward to the day when Father Hermann will build them a home.



The kids love it in the mission.



The kids in the village play soccer with balls made of straw.



The kids in the mission love to play soccer every day at 4 pm in the open field.



A nice family lives in this house.



Father builds nice houses for the families in the village of Musha.



The only store in Musha.



The teenagers in the mission relax and enjoy each others company.


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