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Emma Thompson's pride as 'adopted' Rwandan refugee son graduates

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The actress - seen here in 2008 with the former Rwandan child soldier she welcomed into her family - played the role of the proud mum as he officially received a 2:1 degree
 Photo: © Getty Images

22 JULY 2009

Her face shining with happiness, Emma Thompson put an arm around the former child soldier she welcomed into the family as he officially received a 2:1 university degree this week.

The 50-year-old Sense and Sensibility actress took Tindyebewa Agaba in after they were introduced at a Christmas party for the Refugee Council six years ago.

"He's such a lovely, enchanting boy so I said, 'Come and spend Christmas with us'." explained the Oscar-winning star of their first meeting.

"And he came for half the day. Slowly, he became a sort of permanent fixture," she added.

At the time he barely spoke English. Yet with the support of Emma and her husband Greg Wise – who have an eight-year-old daughter Gaia - he went on to gain GCSEs and A Levels. This led to a place at Exeter University studying politics.

His father had died of AIDS, while his mother and sister were listed as missing during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Tindy was forced to serve as soldier until he was rescued by charity Care International, who eventually helped him flee to Britain

From September, the 22-year-old will attend London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, to take a Masters Degree in Human Rights Law.

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