Sep 24, 2018
Simon fled Rwanda aged 16 in 1994 and never saw his home again. This is one of those really deep episodes where we really explore what it even means to be human and reflect on what is important in life. In this interview we talk about his experience of being a refugee, what it is like to have your identity stripped from you, key points that he has learned from his journey and how he survived. We also talk about what he learnt from his parents and their positive attitude and the impact on his life of someone who helped his family in unanticipated ways. Finally we talk about his transition to life in New Zealand and how he continues to help others since his arrival here 15 years ago.
"There was always things in the background but you never thought it would get to that point… so we had to leave our house because it was not safe and then when we left that is kind of the last time we saw our house … it was pretty traumatic, it is hard to explain because it was pretty intense – it is hard to tell someone until you are in there, you know we were running for your life, seeing people dying, seeing bullets passing over your head, seeing a lot of things – so it was very hard… but I was very fortunate that my parents were very strong and were able to make crucial decisions that is why we are here. Once we were out of the door, we never came back…"
HP Hanna is where Simon works in Christchurch now as an accountant with many businesses: http://www.hphanna.co.nz