RUBAVU — Rubavu district officer in charge of culture and sports, Francois Mugisha, has called upon residents to participate in activities organized as part of the 15th Genocide Commemoration week.
Mugisha was recently speaking to local leaders in Gisenyi town as they made final to this year’s Genocide Commemoration week which is expected to last from 7th – 13th April.
‘We have made preparations as a district unit for the commemorations. Every thing is in place. we are now meeting the sector, church leaders, opinion and cell leaders to brief them on the schedule of various activities for the memorial week’, he explained.
He revealed that unlike in the past where genocide memorial activities were concentrated and hence conducted at district and sector levels, this year’s activities will be brought down to the cell levels.
“We need residents to gather at cell level to participate directly. 15 years after the genocide, a new generation has grown both in and outside Rwanda who should learn more closely about this terrible event,” he said.
He further added that the sessions will include prayers for the perished innocent souls, testimonies from survivors, construction of houses for the homeless genocide survivors and many other related activities.
‘We normally have cases during this memorial week where by survivors get traumatized because of remembering the terror which visited them during the genocide. We hope that since the memorial activities will be conducted at cell levels, this new move will be helpful in closely assisting in the handling of those who will be overcome by emotions through support by families and close friends’, he explained.
Eugene Mugwaneza one of the survivors, said the memorial week is a very difficult time for the people who witnessed the terror.
‘This is a time when our minds playback to 1994. We thus get traumatized due to the fact that our minds are taken back to 1994 where our relatives and friends were brutally murdered in our presence. It is however an important time because we come together to remember and pray for the souls of our beloved and departed family members and friends who lost their lives during the genocide’, explained Mugwaneza a resident of Kivumu sector in Rubavu district.