CORNWALL, Ontario – When Kizito Musabimana was 11-years-old he witnessed one of the worst atrocities of the 20th Century. He and his family survived the Rwandan Genocide of 1994.
However, Kizito says that for years after that he did not feel like himself and could not talk about the demons he was struggling with because of the stigma surrounding what is commonly known now as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“The things we had to do, the things we had see like people being killed and dead bodies stayed with us,” said Kizito. “Starting around 2007, I couldn’t go anywhere without needing a drink or a smoke or throwing up and its because we never talked about what happened. It was taboo to talk about it.”
Kizito, who is now 33, decided in 2013 that he wanted to try and fix himself. He says that he began to take long walks and that these walks helped him meditate and release some of the anxiety he was holding on to.
Now, Kizito wants to keep walking and use it to raise awareness about PTSD.
Kizito will walk nearly 550 kilometers from Toronto to Montreal for the cause of raising PTSD awareness and will be making his stop in Cornwall sometime on Dec. 2.
He is also collecting signatures for a petition to be presented to the House of Commons to encourage them to provide more support for PTSD sufferers.
Kizito and his family moved to Canada in 2000 and he has done some work in the Canadian film industry. Now he is working on a new film called I am Home Again which will tell his story about the Rwandan Genocide and dealing with PTSD.