THROUGHOUT RECORDED history, cultural heritage has suffered damage and destruction in times of wars and conflict. Today, our world is troubled in many ways and peace is threatened often due to lack of cultural memory in that people no longer understand their neighbours anymore and that often causes conflict.
When cultural heritage is destroyed, people suffer a fundamental loss making life more than survival. As a matter of fact, it damages not only human lives but also the world’s contemporary heritage that has got long term and wide ranging consequences to our memory and identity that in the end affects relations between individuals and societies globally.
In Rwanda, the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda (INMR) is in charge of protecting and preserving cultural heritage sites.
Museums are tasked to play a brokering role in reconciling national societies with diversity in their midst, a social issue perceived as urgent in today’s interconnected world and raising threat of intercultural conflicts and disharmony. INMR knows that educating the future generation is not an easy task but doing all it takes for cultural diffusion to be effected. From field trips, to professional development, they offer a wide range of site-based and virtual educational programming aligned to cultural identity and career ready standards that support the common core state standards through hands-on experiences and presentations.
How we care about our own historical sites will undoubtedly reveal the degree of civilisation and morality in our country due to their cultural, scientific and general human values they pass on to the generations to come. Rwanda’s history has to be taught, researched on, and exhibited for improved public consumption and understanding to create better citizens.
National historical sites make history alive for the public by engaging them in the discovery of historical, cultural, and social experiences of the past through creation and reproducing particular histories of a nation.
For Rwanda, we can do all it takes to identify, direct, control, conserve and preserve a history that is clearly ours, distinct and rich in our own cultural values. This will inspire today’s generation and held shape the future.
David Nkusi, Rwanda