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She was born in South Orange, New Jersey. In 1942, she married the British explorer and film maker Kenneth Carr. The Carrs settled in the Belgian Congo in 1949, and after their divorce Rosamond settled in Mugongo, Rwanda to run a plantation growing pyrethrum flowers to produce pyrethrin, an organic insecticide sought the world over.
In 1994, Carr was evacuated from Mugongo by Belgian Marines during the Rwandan Genocide, returning when her security was no longer at risk. She founded the Imbabazi Orphanage on 17 December 1994. With parts of Rwanda still unsafe, after 1997 both Carr and the Imbabazi Orphanage relocated to Gisenyi, where she continued to look after the day-to-day running of the orphanage and its 120 children. In December 2005, she was able to return to Mugongo, where the orphanage had been reestablished in a new building near her home.
In 1999 her autobiography, Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life in Rwanda, co-written with her niece Ann Howard Halsey, was published. It has since been translated into French and German.
A Mother's Love: Rosamond Carr & a Lifetime in Rwanda, a documentary project about her life and on which Carr acted as advisor, was produced by Standfast Productions Ltd., directed by Eamonn Gearon and photographed by Noel Donnellon. Carr acted in a similar capacity during production of Gorillas in the Mist starring Sigourney Weaver and directed by Michael Apted, with her character in that film played by Julie Harris.
Carr died on 29 September 2006, in Gisenyi, Rwanda. She was buried on Sunday, 1 October at Mugongo, her flower farm in the shadow of the Virunga Volcanos. The new orphanage building, where her legacy continues, is next to the farm.
- Funeral and Memorial Service
- Review of Carr's Land of a Thousand Hills by Ambassador Richard Matheron, The Unlikely Lady Planter, in American Diplomacy, unc.edu, February 2000. Accessed April 1, 2014.
- Martin, Douglas, Rosamond Carr, 94, Dies; Loved Africa and Orphans, The New York Times, nytimes.com, October 8, 2006. Accessed April 1, 2014.
- "Land Of A Thousand Hills: My Life In Rwanda"
- Holley, Joe, Rosamond Carr, 94; Founder of Rwandan Orphanage, Washington Post, washingtonpost.com, October 4, 2006. Accessed April 1, 2014.
- Rosamond Halsey Carr & the Imbabazi Orphanage, Rwanda Project, Eyes of Children, rwandaproject.org, December 29, 2011. Accessed April 1, 2014.
- Rosamond Halsey Carr, Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life in Rwanda, Viking Penguin Books, 1999. ISBN 9780670887804.
- Carr documentary film trailer, A Mother's Love: Rosamond Carr & a Lifetime in Rwanda, Standfast Productions Ltd., standfastproductions.com, July 2007. Accessed April 1, 2014.