Ethnic Gem: Clementine Bihiga

Ethnic Gem: Clementine Bihiga



By Anne Clanton, senior contributing writer


Be prepared to be amazed, entertained and wowed, those words usually are reserved for circus performers, but in this case they are used to introduce World Refugee Day celebration author & motivational speaker, Clementine Bihiga who fled from her homeland Rwanda, where 1.3 million were killed in 3 months!

July 2016 EG Photo of Clementine BihigaClementine who is a motivational speaker and she, like many of the enrolled students at West Springfield Alternative High School are “Survivors” Clementine is the key note speaker and will address the students on August 10th, 11 a.m. at their Summer Success graduation.


Clementine survived the Rwandan Genocide and like many of them lived in refugee camps. Her message of survival will be the topic of conversation as she addresses the West Springfield Alternative High School students who represent an astonishing 35 different countries. From Somalia to Iran to Iraq, among them are immigrants and children who have lived in refugee camps in their country and region. They are often transported to different countries including the United States, Canada and Great Britain. “We are educating people from Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq, what is stunning about these kids is their resilience” says, Judy Ferri, Director of the Alternative High School in West Springfield. Clementine in her presentations and book, “Happily Broken” talks about refugees having resilience and all being Masterpieces. Ferri, says she chose Behiga to be their graduation speaker for the similarities in experiences between her and the students. “Her Story is our kid’s story, so similar” says Ferri. Her story as a refugee will hopefully inspire my kids -they can make it”.

Hopefully for the summer school graduates, Clementine’s message of resilience transforms them to become a Masterpiece.
The Summer School Graduation, at 425 Piper Road in West Springfield, Massachusetts is open to the public. For more information contact the West Springfield Alternative High School, West Springfield, MA.


Clementine will be signing copies of her book “Happily Broken Discovering Happiness Through Pain and Suffering” or go to for more information.


Ethnic Online is proud to feature Clementine Bihiga as a true Ethnic GEM!

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