Members of the Rwandan Diaspora have started a ‘One Dollar Campaign’ charity initiative that will see approximately 20, 000 Diaspora members mobilise a symbolic one dollar each to raise money to provide shelter for Genocide survivors in different parts of Rwanda.
The initiative that is expected to start early next as discussed and conceived by Rwandan Diaspora representatives and members at just concluded Diaspora Retreat is one of the programmes the Rwandan Diaspora adopted in preparation of the 15th Genocide Memorial Commemoration week slated for April Next year.
According to the concept of the project, over $100, 000 can be collected in a period of 100 days, symbolic of the Genocide days, if about 200, 000 members contributed 1 dollar each.
However much more will be raised from the project that seeks to provide shelter especially young Genocide survivors in schools and universities who don’t have places of abode in holidays.
According to Robert Masozera, the Director General of the Diaspora General Directorate at the Ministry of foreign Affairs, the 1 dollar is symbolic or acts as a minimum which an individual can contribute but much more is expected from the Rwandans in Diaspora who welcomed the idea and promised to show commitment towards raising the amount such that by the end of July 2009, a shelter project is started.
The suggestion to start the one dollar initiative was reached at after realising that todate, some Genocide Survivors don’t have where to call home 15 years after the Genocide against Tutsis.
In a bid to show commitment, participants contributed ‘1 dollar’ each, raising about 300.280 Rwf to go to the project account which will be opened early next year by the Diaspora Directorate.
Speaking at the two-day Retreat, Jean de Dieu Mucyo, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide welcomed the initiative saying that it presents a ray of hope to Genocide survivors who are homeless.
“I know some students at the National University of Rwanda who are Genocide Survivors but don’t have homes to go to during holidays, all they do is hang around the university until it reopens,” said Mucyo during the retreat that was held at Aberdeen House in Kagugu.
To show their commitment, participants contributed ‘1 dollar’ each, raising about 300.280 Rwf to go to the project account which will be opened early next year by the Diaspora Directorate.
Mucyo also urged Rwandans in Diaspora to be vigilant and aggressively market the country’s image in order to neutralize the effect of negative groups and revisionists such as Paul Rusesabagina who have since soiled the country’s name.
The retreat also adopted a Diaspora Mutual Fund which will be a pool of funds formed by thousands of Rwandans in Diaspora to invest in the Rwandan Economy.
The Diaspora agreed to organise two international conferences in the coming year.
The first conference of Rwandan Professionals which will bring together Rwandan academics and professionals at both domestic and international level will be held in Kigali while the second will be a Diaspora Investment Conference to be organised outside Rwanda, in a bid to showcase Rwanda’s potential to prospective investors.
The dates are yet to be decided after consultations in conjunction with Rwanda Development Board.