Words expressed by Hanna Mollan, at the memorial servicefor the six ICRC colleagues who lost their lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
On behalf of all your colleagues and friends in eastern Congo,
thank you for the short and precious time we had in your company.
Thank you for your generosity, for all the compliments you gave to us around you.
You would praise your colleagues for their efforts until they blushed.
You wouldn't leave our plane without thanking the pilots for a lovely flight, or for a perfect landing.
You had a beautiful ability to make people feel appreciated.
Coming back from your first trip to Bunia you brought back tiny seedlings of Jacaranda trees.
You said you would plant them in the garden.
We shook our heads and suggested that the fragile plants would never grow.
You just smiled, and pointed to suitable places for planting.
Rita, we want you to know, and we want your family to know that the little episodes we shared with you are engraved in the hearts of every one of us who travelled with you, who laughed with you,
who listened to the radio with you in the morning,
who discussed with you over lunch,
who sat by the lake with you reading a book or philosophising,
who were with you during the last days of your life.
We guard and treasure these memories.
In your work you were exemplary: professional and compassionate.
You willingly shared the wisdom of your experience with all of us who had the privilege of working with you.
You had the courage to give of yourself. Now you have given it all.
Rita, we are proud to have known you,
and we miss you.
Special memorial ceremony,
Geneva - May 2, 2001.
Gillian Biddulph Ackermann
of our colleagues
April 27, 2001
Chronology of activities
The ICRC in Congo (DRC)