Bones Display Symbolizes Lives Lost in Rwandan Holocaust
Posted 04/28/2015 01:19PM

A thought-provoking and striking display of ceramic bones is now placed in McAuley's lobby as part of the 2014-15 all school read of the book Left To Tell by Immaculée Ilibagiza. In the book, Immaculée shares the miraculous story of how she survived the Rwandan genocide in 1994, when hundreds of thousands of Rwandans were killed.

To create the bones display, each student at McAuley made a ceramic bone, and each bone symbolizes 1,666 lives that were lost in the Rwandan holocaust. Students made the bones during "Family" bell, and each family made the same bone under the direction of an art student. The display also includes inspiring quotes by Ilibagiza, as well as students' reflections on what they would tell Immaculée if they could talk to her today. The bones display project was spearheaded by anatomy teacher, Mrs. Cindy Werner, and art teacher, Ms. Sam Setterlin.

Both McAuley and Mother of Mercy participated in this One Book, One Community read last summer, and elements of the book have been incorporated into various classes throughout this school year. During the fall semester, tech theater and art students built a full-scale replica of the bathroom where Immaculée and seven other women hid for 91 days during the genocide. In addition, creative writing students created a graffiti wall on the outside of the bathroom replica. Elements of the book have also been incorporated into a wide range of other courses, including biology, health, child development, science, creative cooking, music, computer literacy, social studies, world languages and more.

Many students, staff and friends had the opportunity to hear Immaculée speak in person when she came to Cincinnati in October. Those in attendance listened to Immaculée describe how her faith in God, and the power of prayer and forgiveness, helped her survive.

"I really enjoyed reading Immaculée's book," said freshman Anna Wood. "I learned that God is constantly by your side, even in the hardest times. I was astonished by the courage she had throughout her 91 days in the bathroom."