Rwandan youth tell country’s 20 year story through poetry

Youth Literacy Organisation (YouLI) has this week released a book containing a collection of 20 poems, on themes of Genocide commemoration and remembrance.
Youth Literacy Organisation has released an anthology on themes of Genocide commemoration and remembrance. Patrick Buchana.
Youth Literacy Organisation has released an anthology on themes of Genocide commemoration and remembrance. Patrick Buchana.

Youth Literacy Organisation (YouLI) has this week released a book containing a collection of 20 poems, on themes of Genocide commemoration and remembrance.

The 20 poems in a collection dubbed: “Telling Our Own Stories: Poems by Rwandan Youth 20 Years After the Genocide” are written by young Rwandans aged between 14 and 28.

Through the project, YouLI aims to encourage Rwandan youth to tell their own stories and the story of Rwanda, contribute to the literature on Rwanda and the history of the Genocide against the Tutsi as well as foster their creative expression skills through writing.

YouLI’s Executive Director, Gilbert Rwabigwi said: “This is more than just a collection of poems because it also represents what the youth today stand for. They stand for unity, rebuilding, dignity and strong commitment to renew the nation despite the tragic history.”

“Writing about our views and experiences is very important as we seek to heal the wounds left by the Genocide.

Each poem within the collection tells a unique story but they all embrace remembrance, forgiveness, and hope for a brighter future. 

The poems deal with experiences of anger, blame and regret over a despicable history, to the rising promise of a new generation that carries the responsibility of turning “never again” into reality.

Jennifer Turatsinze, the Executive Director of Rwanda Library Services hailed the youth for their contribution toward telling Rwanda’s true story

“Stories within this collection represent a diverse look at developments 20 years after the Genocide. This is a commendable youth initiative and a significant contribution to the country,” Turatsinze said.

Published by Bloo Books Limited, the first copies of the book were available at the Kwibuka20 Café Littéraire and at the Parliament before Walk to Remember last week. Copies are now available at publisher’s office in town and Ikirezi Bookshop.

An electronic version of the collection will also be made available in the next few weeks through major eBooks markets.

 

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