Over 1,000 children under 20 years of age on Wednesday gathered in Remera, Kigali in a special function aimed at commemorating the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Movies, commemorative songs, poems, dance and stage shows featured in the function. The lead organiser, Roger Nyiringabo, 19, a graduate of Glory Secondary School, said the event was meant to help his peers connect with the country’s history.
Nyiringabo said that following the first event in April 2012, it was discovered that many children born after the Genocide were ignorant about the country’s history.
“We invite elders to talk to us about our past. The first event was not easy to prepare. Many children didn’t understand the purpose. Only 400 turned up. On the second event, 1,000 children turned up,” he said.
“Sage Umutoniwabo, 19, a Senior Six vacist from Green Hills Academy, said there is need for them to understand the country’s past.
“To build a bright future, we first need to understand our past,” she said.
Umutoniwabo said they committed to collecting donations during their commemoration events to support widows and orphans in Kanombe, Kigali.
Celeste Impundu, 17, a Senior Five student from Glory Secondary School, said this year’s theme stirred up youthful minds.
“This year’s theme; ‘Remember, Unite and Renew,’ encourages us to remember what exactly happened because most of us were born after the Genocide,” Impundu said.
The children invited MPs Justine Mukobwa and Francis Kaboneka to educate them about the country’s history, the Genocide, as well as the government’s development agenda.
In 2012, the children collected some money for survivors in Kanombe. Last year, they provided basic foodstuff for them, but this time around, they want to give the widows and orphans something more sustainable like livestock to rear.