Editorial: Young Rwandans should borrow a leaf from Rwanda Youth Volunteers

A local group of young people, known as Rwanda Youth Volunteers in Community Policing, is involved in a noble cause: its members conduct umuganda (community work) twice every month during which they carry out activities of socioeconomic impact, including cleaning up public places, constructing houses and hygiene facilities for the vulnerable, among others.

The group, which has 250,000 members across the country, has recently focused their activities on helping improve the living conditions of disadvantaged survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, ahead of the 24th commemoration of the Genocide – in April.

Over the weekend they constructed 179 toilets, constructed and rehabilitated 67km of roads connecting communities and four classrooms, planted trees and established 184 organic gardens (Akarima k’Igikoni), among others.

They also started constructing six housing units for vulnerable Genocide survivors and renovating 121 others across the country, as well as cleaning and rehabilitating Genocide memorial sites.

It is quite refreshing that hundreds of thousands of young Rwandans have come together to voluntarily contribute their energies, skills and resources to the country’s sustainable development through directly impacting people’s lives, particularly the underprivileged.

That the group is even involved with safeguarding Rwanda’s history is even more impressive considering that most youths have traditionally tended to leave the task of safeguarding the country’s history and heritage to the older generations.

The youth volunteers have understood that we are all called to serve regardless of one’s age, gender and background.

Over the years, Rwanda has had young men and women who bravely stepped forward to serve their country in different ways, including charitable and liberation causes even putting their lives on the line, many of them paying the ultimate price.

The youth of today ought to learn from the young compatriots past and present who took it upon themselves to be of significance to their country and fellow citizens.