At the age of eight, bullets shot past her head as her mother and youngest siblings piled into a car. Not enough room left for the rest of the family, Clementine and her brothers walked beside the vehicle as bombs exploded beside them. Bodies fell to the ground. Dead. You were lucky if you survived without a wound of some kind. With no time to stop and mourn those you love, the exodus from war-torn Rwanda was a chaotic and terrifying experience especially for a child like Clementine Bihiga.
Clementine wrote Happily Broken; Discovering Happiness through Pain and Suffering, not to preach to people, but to come beside them as a friend who cares—as a friend who has traveled through the fire and come out on the other side. Free. Does she have scars? Of course, but she’s here to tell you that scars can be beautiful. Pain and suffering can be beautiful if embraced with a full heart and genuine faith.
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Clementine was only 8 years old when her family escaped from war-torn Rwanda. As her mother and youngest siblings piled into a car, she and her brothers had to walk beside the packed vehicle while bombs exploded beside them and bullets shot past their heads.
She spent the next 5 years in refugee camps and settlements. Clementine had to grow up quickly and become an adult-like 8-year-old. It is no surprise that at the age of 33, she has accomplished more than many at her age.
In 1999, her and her family were admitted to the USA where Clementine faced challenges of a different sort. Because of her past, many saw her as “different” and was bullied in high school. Where others would have quit and been scared away, she instead used it as motivation.
While in college, she started AFRIKA Club and held positions in several leadership organizations. She interned at the New York State Attorney General’s office, began her speaking journey and was able to travel the nation including doing work with the United Nations as an Agent of Change.