Diaspora students currently pursuing education in Switzerland have vowed to return to Rwanda to engage in national development.
A Rwandan student, who was born and continues to live in Switzerland, Tuesday revealed a keen interest and commitment to partake in the country’s development, after her studies.
Speaking to The New Times on the sidelines of the just concluded fourth Diaspora convention, Céleste Urujeni, a second-year Law student at the University of Geneva, in Switzerland, also explained how her passion for Rwanda was instilled into her, by her parents, at a tender age.
“Ever since we were little children – our parents told us that we are immigrants in Switzerland and that they did not want us to loose our culture,” Urujeni said.
“I will come back after studies and live and work here – we have to participate in the development of our country – it’s really important.”
Urujeni further shed light on the Switzerland-based association – Urunana, which has 70 members and promotes Rwandan culture abroad, especially in Switzerland.
“We have Intore, and I can dance our traditional dance – our dance troupe was here for the first Ingando, in 2006, and we danced at the FESPAD – we participated again in the 2008 FESPAD,” says a beaming Urujeni.
Urujeni speaks fairly good Kinyarwanda, eagerly wants to learn more, and stresses that she has her parents to thank for all she has learnt about her country and culture.
“Thanks to our parents since we were little children, they showed us the beauty of our country. Now, I feel I have to do something for my country.”
“We are so proud to show that we can dance our traditional dance – we were a little bit ashamed that we could not speak the language very well but since we can, at least dance, I feel so proud – the more we grew up, the more we understood the meaning and importance of our culture.”
As revealed on the group’s website http://www.urunana.com, the association formed in 1988, by members of the Rwandan community in Switzerland that aims at providing young Rwandans living in Switzerland with knowledge of their culture of origin through the preservation of language, dance and drums
It promotes the multiple facets of Rwandan culture across Europe, and enhances ties of friendship and solidarity amongst all in the association.
Urunana also works to “ensure a healthy development for young Rwandans living in Europe” and, as highlighted, they meet once in a month and adult volunteer instructors supervise the young, manage and programme the activities.