Words expressed by Gillian Biddulph Ackermann, at the memorial servicefor the six ICRC colleagues who lost their lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

In the bible there is a verse which says:

" When I was a child,

I spake as a child,

I understood as child

I thought as a child.

But when I became a man, I put away childish things

For now we see through a glass darkly,

Then face to face. "

And so face to face with life. Rita was 36 years old; it was to have been her birthday on Sunday. Rita: your life was not always easy, but you achieved so much.

You were warm and strong, loved and admired. You did missions with ICRC as health delegate in Rwanda, Georgia, Sudan and finally the Congo. You are known by many in ICRC. Friend of so many both inside and outside ICRC. You found Patrick and you were happy.

At all times, strong and capable; at times serious; always professional. You had a smile and a happy spirit that lifted those around you.

In Georgia, the ICRC studied the problem of tuberculosis in prisons. The prisoners, tough and hard and with a class system of their own, had to get up at four o'clock in the morning for the early morning sputum test. The prisoners were always reluctant to get up, especially on a cold winter's morning. But somehow, for Rita, with her special personality and human touch, they did not mind getting up early. One time they gave you a standing ovation - you were the only one who re ceived that; you treated them as human beings.

And so to you Rita - our thoughts are with you.

In memory of Rita and for hope in the future, there is a song by Louis Armstrong entitled What a Wonderful World .

 Gillian Biddulph Ackermann  

 02 May 20001  




 Special memorial ceremony,  

 Geneva - May 2, 2001.  



Jakob Kellenberger  
Gillian Biddulph Ackermann  
Alexis Kabanga  
Juan Martinez  
Hanna Mollan  
Patrick Mueller  
Yacine Sar  


Soren Jessen-Petersen  


of our colleagues  

 Press release  

April 27, 2001  

 Chronology of activities  

The ICRC in Congo (DRC)