In pursuit of national unity and reconciliation, Rwanda still faces persistent challenges 29 years after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. These challenges were discussed at the National Research-based Dialogue at the Gisozi Genocide Memorial on November 2. ALSO READ: Rwandans urged to uphold spirit of resilience In his presentation, Dr Aggée Shyaka Mugabe, a Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the Centre for Conflict Management (CCM) of the University of Rwanda, noted ethnic-based stereotypes, the lingering presence of genocide ideology, irresponsible use of social media, unhealed wounds and trauma resulting from past divisions and genocide, intergenerational transmission of trauma, high rates of youth unemployment, poverty, disintegration of Rwandan values, and dysfunction of family structures. ALSO READ: Benjamin Rusagara on using art for reconciliation and healing Resilience, one of the key factors in overcoming these challenges, was brought to attention based on the research conducted. It was highlighted that the country still faces persistent needs among the most vulnerable Genocide survivors, which delays their advancement and inhibits their progress. Additionally, a dependence mindset has developed among government-supported vulnerable groups, while economic opportunities and access remain limited, particularly in rural areas. In an effort to brainstorm solutions to these pressing issues, Aegis Trust, in collaboration with the Ministry of National Unity and Civic Engagement, organised an event at which many young people were given the opportunity to voice their ideas and suggestions. Gisèle Sandrine Irakoze, the founder of Ndabaga Initiative and one of the youth champions contributing as Aegis Trust's Research grantees, highlighted the importance of using reliable sources of information to overcome the challenges. In this era of abundant information, she stressed the critical need for young people to verify and authenticate the credibility and goal of the information and its source. Irakoze urged the youth to be intentional about where they obtain information, to rely on trusted research, and to approach and respond to information mindfully. “We cannot dwell on the past or use it as an excuse if we expect to achieve resilience,” emphasised Irakoze. “We must strive to excel in our jobs, our dreams, and in all facets of development, both personally and for the betterment of our country as a whole.” Another participant at the event, Israel Nuru Mupenzi, the president of the youthful Peace and Love Proclaimers, suggested that programmes, lectures, and dialogues involving young people should be delivered in a more participative manner. He emphasised the importance of incorporating issues that young people genuinely care about and providing them with significant roles. According to Mupenzi, when allowed to take the lead and be responsible for their own learning and growth, young people can inspire each other and contribute more effectively to addressing the challenges at hand. Mupenzi firmly believes that young people will remain disconnected and uninterested unless given ample opportunities to participate actively and contribute meaningfully to the dialogue on Rwanda’s resilience and progress. Furthermore, the significance of enhancing Kinyarwanda, the national language, as a unifying force and common language was discussed among the youth. There is a concern that young people do not value Kinyarwanda as much as they should, as they tend to focus more on foreign international languages. Promoting patriotism through the appreciation and use of Kinyarwanda was seen as a way to foster resilience and strengthen the unity of the nation.