The 20th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi should be used as a platform to remind Rwandans that there are still some vulnerable survivours of the Genocide who need help, Never Again Rwanda, a local youth organisation has said.
This was stated yesterday during ‘Global Umuganda’ in which Rwandan youth were joined by counterparts in over 30 countries and 74 sites across the world in social activities aimed at helping the needy while reflecting on the Genocide.
In Rwanda, about 50 youth helped make bricks for construction of a kitchen, a latrine and a fence for Louise Mukarusasa, a genocide widow from Rusororo Sector, Ruhanga Cell in Gasabo District.
This support came after the same youth built for Mukarusasa a three-room house last year. This enabled her to save her meager resources spent on rented accommodation. “I used to rent a very small room where only my two children could find space to sleep. Moreover, the room had no window, and people used to say that I was renting a prison,” she said.
“I am now very happy to have a place I call home,” she added.
A part from Gasabo, Rwandan youth were also active in Rubavu District where students of the Rwanda Tourism University College and Kigali Independent University were joined by colleagues from Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo in a cleaning exercise at the border.
In other countries, the youth participated in different activities like cleaning neighborhoods, donating to the needy and rehabilitating public infrastructure. In the East African Community for example, all the countries except Burundi, were involved in cleaning activities.
In Africa, 15 countries responded to the call for Global Umuganda, most of them from West Africa.
“We have ambassadors who study in our Institute of Peace for two weeks every year. They are the ones who helped us market the Global Umuganda,” said Eric Mahoro, the executive director Never Again Rwanda.
He said the youth from around the world come here to learn how the Genocide was planned and executed as well as take record of the reconstruction efforts. The visitors will then serve as messengers in their respective countries to tell the true story of the Genocide.
“As we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Genocide, our society still needs to take care of people who survived those atrocities,” Mahoro said.
“This is a reminder to Genocide perpetrators that the country has a good generation that is committed to make Never Again campaign a reality,” said Peter Barigye, the Rusororo sector executive secretary.
Never Again Rwanda was founded in 2002 by the youth with the aim of building a new generation that cherishes peace and unity. Mahoro says that their activities are already having an impact, especially in the fight against Genocide denial.