FilmAid Trained Filmmaker Amina Rwimo Speaks at TEDx

Amina is refugee from Congo who speaks English as her fourth language. Below is her story in her own words.

My role model is a Kenyan Actress Lupita Nyong’o. In 2014, when she won her Oscar she said, “No matter where you are from your dreams are valid.” Those words spoke straight into my heart. I heard them here in the camp.

I was born in DRC. But because of the war and violence, I was forced to run away. I only have painful memories. I have lost my whole family. I prefer not to talk about it.

I came here in 2009. [At first] I got a job as a caseworker. I was helping women who went through sexual and gender based violence. They could share their story with me. I could share my own story with them. We could understand each other better because I am a survivor too.

I wanted to do more to help them, but I did not know how. [Then, one day] I saw an advertisement that FilmAid was looking for young people who were willing to join their film training. I had my answer. This was how I was going to help those women I met. I had so many stories that I wanted to tell the world. I believed film could change people’s lives.

I trained for one year. I worked REALLY hard. At the end, I won best director in the class. I was so proud of me. I had faced my fear. I had made a film. I had found my voice. I made a decision. THIS is my calling. It is my passion. I wanted my voice and the voices of other refugees to be heard.

I faced my fear. I made a film. I found my voice.
— Amina Rwimo

The next film I made was about FGM (Female Genital Mutilation). It is called IT HAS KILLED MY MOTHER. It has won international awards.

I was interviewed on TV. My story was published in the newspaper. It was unbelievable. And now I am establishing my own production company called Exile Key Film.

My message to my fellow refugees and young women is: Don’t wait for tomorrow. Use every opportunity that you have. And never, ever, give up. Your dreams are valid too.