Rosamond Carr, known to her friends as Roz, was born in 1912 in South Orange, NJ; she traded in her life as a fashion illustrator and New York City socialite to follow her husband, dashing British hunter and explorer Kenneth Carr, to what was then the Belgian Congo. The marriage did not last, but Roz’s love for the country and its people was kindled. She bought a plantation of her own in the tiny neighboring country of Rwanda and created a remarkable life for herself there- a life filled with romance and adventure, untold hardships and personal loss, political upheaval and civil wars, and a life that was dedicated, in large part, to the Rwandan people. From the beginning, she helped people by distributing medicine for small ailments, administering first aid and paying school fees for children. Roz Carr was the longest-living foreign resident in Rwanda and the last of the foreign plantation owners. She witnessed the decline and fall of colonialism in Africa and the emergence of new and struggling African states. She sailed up the Congo River and camped in Pygmy villages. She survived civil wars, revolutions, and one of the greatest human tragedies of our time; 1994 Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda.
In the aftermath of the Genocide, at the age of 82, Roz Carr founded an orphanage on her flower plantation in the foothills of the Virunga volcanoes. The orphanage is called Imbabazi, which means “a place where you will receive all the love and care a mother would give.” Since it opened its doors in December of 1994, Roz and her staff had cared for more than 400 lost or orphaned children. Roz Carr passed away at the age of 94 on the 29th of September, 2006 at her home she loved for more than 50 years. To date, Imbabazi is and remains a haven of love and safety and a symbol of hope for all