Mapendo (Nicole) Nandormana, wife of ARDR Allies President Laurent Muvunyi was separated from her mother (Dorkas Nyamukodwa) when she was two years old. The separation was caused by a second wave of attacks in the Congo which caused everyone to flee for their lives. Nicole and her two older siblings, (Francoise Bikundwa and Michael Mfashingabo happened to be with their father when they were forced to run for safety. Unfortunately Dorkas was not with them and when the killing stopped Nicole's mother and father each thought the other was dead. Sadly, as a result, everyone moved on with their lives.
It was not until 18 years later in 2007 when Nicole was living in Maine and working at McDonalds that she called a friend in Burundi who told her that her mother was alive. Nicole was sure this could not be true but the friend insisted it was true and encouraged her to return home. Nicole married Laurent in 2008 and in 2009, Nicole, Laurent and their five month old son Grant flew to Rwanda with two friends from Dayton (Sherri and Barbara) and ultimately met Dorkas who had been living in a Nairobi refugee camp since 2008.
It was an emotional meeting for Nicole and Dorkas because by 2009 it had been twenty years since Dorkas held Nicole in her arms. However this started a two year process of government interviews, paperwork and delays but culminated in a joyful reunion at the Dayton International Airport on May 26, 2013.
In addition to Laurent, Nicole and their kids and Nicole's brother and his family there were approximately 40 other friends of Laurent and Nicole who came to celebrate this wonderful reunion.
Life is different now for Dorkas. She lives on a different continent, she is experiencing running water for the first time in her life, nobody other than family can speak her language and she is trying to get used to snow in the winter. But she has reunited with her family.