Staff members of Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR), part of Atlas Mara Group, on Friday joined residents of Bugesera District to remember victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The commemoration started with a walk to remember as the staff headed to Ntarama Genocide memorial, where they paid tribute to, some 5000 Tutsi, including some former bank’s employees, laid to rest there.
During the Genocide, the Tutsi fled to Ntarama Catholic Church for refuge, only to be killed by the Interahamwe militia using traditional weapons, grenades and bullets, from the place of worship.
It was the bank’s opportunity to pay tribute to its 33 former employees who were killed in the Genocide.
Eric Rutabana, BPR’s Country Head of Corporate and Investment Banking, said the bank remained committed to fight genocide ideology and denial.
He affirmed the bank’s readiness to supporting those who survived the Genocide in one way or another.
“In memory of former BPR colleagues and other victims, we are empathetic to all those who lost their families during the Genocide,” said Rutabana.
“We are proud of the country’s fast development. Our bank is committed to support Genocide survivors in different aspects of their everyday lives, toward better welfare. Our staff will always stand against genocide ideology and denial in the community to avoid genocide from happening again, either in Rwanda or elsewhere.”
He commended Genocide survivors for their forgiveness of those who killed their families, which he said is key to unity and reconciliation.
The staff offered Rwf2 million toward the memorial site’s maintenance.
The staff later headed to Nyamata Sector, where they joined residents for a commemorative event.
There, they also donated six cows to Genocide survivors from both Nyamata and Mayange Sectors, worth Rwf4 million.
Eric Ruzindaza, Bugesera’s Vice Mayor in charge of Finance and Economic Planning, thanked BPR for their support.
Philomene Musasanzobe, 64, said she expected the cow she received to change her life through giving her milk, ghee and manure.
The bank has also been active in supporting Genocide survivors in education. Among 29 who have been studying under the BPR’s fully paid university scholarships, 22 have already completed their studies.