By Lindsay Hedgecock
During the 1964 Rebellion in D.R.C., Grace Boivin experienced what thousands of children have experienced or are experiencing right now in Africa.
Boivin, an East Lansing resident went through one of many evacuations of West D.R.C. to be evacuated by rebels.
Boivin’s parents were missionaries working in West D.R.C. during the 1960s. When she was in fifth grade, her village was evacuated and was separated from her family. For several months she put into a boarding school, crammed with three other students into a small room.
“The experience was hard for me. It was a tough time living away from my family,” she said.
Her father worked in a small village at a 100-bed hospital where he was the only doctor and her mother was a teacher working at the local school when the village was evacuated.
Boivin stated that her father stayed behind while her mom was stationed at a missionary a few hours away with her two siblings.
Boivin is a volunteer teaching English as a second language and is involved with volunteer work at her church. She travels with her husband, Michael Boivin, a core faculty member at the African Studies Center at MSU when he goes to Africa on research grants.
“What happened to me and thousands of other children is something you will never forget,” Boivin said. “It’s horrible what is happening and we need to stop it, these children should not be suffering.”