Carl Wilkens, the only American to remain in Rwanda during the genocide there 21 years ago, is scheduled to speak from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at Williamsville East High School, 151 Paradise Road.
In 1994, Wilkens was the only American to remain in the East African nation after the U.S. officials and other Americans left at the outset of the mass genocidal slaughter of Rwanda’s Tutsi population. He remained in an attempt to help those who were being slaughtered. In the process, he wound up saving about 400 children from armed military men who had taken over an orphanage. Wilkens appealed to the prime minister of the country to spare the lives of the children.
Since his return to the U.S., Wilkens has been an international speaker on the topic of the Rwandan genocide and bringing awareness to this type of mass murder in the hopes of ending the practice.