Museums in general hold historical facts that increase our sense of wellbeing. They help us learn where we came from, inspire and stimulate us to feel proud about our culture and norms. Cultural museums educate young people about the past, how ancient people reacted to the existing environment and the effects of those reactions on our past, present and future, educators say. Sandrine Isheja Butera, a radio presenter and a mother of two, says museums tell us our identity and make us feel proud and worthy. “Lack of self-awareness, values and identity makes people take that as an advantage to use you for their own benefit, making you worthless. It is crucial for children to know their roots as they say; a tree without roots quickly withers and becomes lifeless,” Butera says. She adds that young children are the future of the nation, it is important for them to know where they come from, their identity and its history, so that they grow with the spirit and desire to protect that identity. Butera further says that people have realised how history has been misunderstood and colonisers used that against Rwandans, an example being the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi. She says that because people did not stand firm in their identity and unity, it made it easy for colonisers to divide people through soft power. Soft power is the ability to co-opt rather than coerce. This involves shaping the preferences of others through appeal and attraction, it is more non-coercive. The currency of soft power includes culture, political values, and foreign policies. This is dominated through movies, music, documentaries, donations, and many more. Butera further says that museums have materials that define our culture that may not be found anywhere else, and are a reliable source of information, unlike some books that may have false information for their own interest. “Not only visiting the museum, we should also treasure and approach our elders and let aged people share with us history in which the past defines our future,” Butera says. For Jean Bosco Nshimiyimana, a lecturer at University of Rwanda’s College of Science and Technology, children of this era spend too much of their time on screens and gadgets. Pulling children away from this and showing them the beauty of the real world through museums has a number of merits which include understanding how the world changes overtime. They will understand the historical processes that have formed the character of the locality they belong to, and much more. According to Alice Kamasoni, the in-charge of cultural tourism at Rwanda Cultural Heritage Academy, education is one of their key responsibilities, such that young people gain credible knowledge about Rwanda’s history, culture and heritage, and take it as a transmission from generation to generation. Children should also have an opportunity to learn outside the borders of the classroom. Museums help them learn new things and develop new skills through enquiry, observation, dialogue and a direct physical relationship with objects and spaces. Here are some places to go to: Kigali Genocide Memorial The exhibition hall located in Gisozi is the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. This memorial also serves to educate about how the Genocide against the Tutsi took shape and examines genocide in the 20th century. The memorial gardens provide a place for quiet contemplation about the history of the Genocide, and allows visitors to reflect on how we all have a personal responsibility to prevent discrimination and mass atrocity. King’s Palace Located in Nyanza, Huye district, the museum was the traditional seat of Rwanda’s Kingdom. In olden times, Nyanza was the heart of Rwanda. According to oral tradition, it was the site of battles and power struggles. Ethnographic Museum Formerly the National Museum of Rwanda, it is located in Butare. A gift from Belgium’s King Badouin in the late 1980s, the Ethnographic Museum now houses one of Africa’s finest ethnographic collections. Seven galleries display historical, ethnographic, artistic and archaeological artefacts accompanied by visual aids, giving visitors a rich insight into the Rwandan culture. Campaign against Genocide Museum Campaign against Genocide Museum offers deeper learning of the political events that led to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Housed in the parliamentary building of Rwanda (Gishushu), the museum was inaugurated in 2017 to showcase the history of Rwanda during a campaign against genocide. Kandt House Museum Kandt House Museum, previously known as Kandt House Museum of Natural History, is a museum in Kigali that is a collection of Rwanda’s history. The first part of the museum presents Rwandan life in all its aspects, social, economic, and political before the colonial period. The second part presents the Rwandan people during the colonial period, while the last part covers the history of Rwanda, before, during and after the colonial era. Kigali was made the capital upon independence in 1962. The museum is located in Nyarugenge District.