One of the best ways to make the world a better place is to give back to the community, even with the little that you have. 31-year-old Christian Intwari strongly agrees with this, that’s why ten years ago, he set out to make a difference in his community when he started ‘Our Past Initiative’ an organisation with a mission of educating young Rwandans born after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi or those who were young at the time about the atrocities happened. Before the birth of his initiative, Intwari was managing a dance group called Sick City Entertainment. As an entertainment group, they were passionate about dance; however they later wanted to do something with a positive impact, particularly in relation with what happened during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Christian Intwari, founder of ‘Our Past Initiative’ They shifted their focus and turned their platform into that which provided grounds for young people to learn about their past so they can help build a better future for the country. Our Past has more than 300 members worldwide and an executive committee of 10 members. Their initiative strongly believes that it is important to understand Rwanda’s history and respect the memories of the past to build a strong future for Rwanda. Members also visit and help different genocide survivors’ villages. Together they educate each other as they participate in events commemorating the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. They also visit and help different genocide survivors’ villages like Icyizere in Kanombe and Ntarama in Bugesera district, Intwari says. Through different activities, ‘Our Past’ helps vulnerable communities by renovating their houses, helping them access water, electricity and equipping them to become self-sufficient. Bearing each other’s’ burdens Intwari and his colleagues want to understand the people they help and the vulnerable communities they reach out to. That’s why they ensure to engage with communities on a deeper level as a way of interacting and understanding them better. “We believe that one of the most compelling ways to learn is through someone else’s experience. The objective of ‘Our Past’ has been to both educate young people on the reconciliation and reconstruction process of our country, and to be integral in the “Kwibuka Twiyubaka (Remember-Unite-Renew) initiative with all Rwandans,” he says. It has been 10 years since its inception and the initiative has managed to make a mark for the community in different ways. Intwari educates young people on the reconciliation and reconstruction process of the country “We have been helping the people of Ntarama Genocide Survivors village for the last five years, where we renovated six houses and built one house from scratch. We have been able to provide easy access of water to six families, health insurance to 30 families, and solar lights to 15 families,” says Intwari. 78% of their funds come from youth for their past projects, and for their current ones, 98% of funds came as support from Bank of Kigali. This journey has come with lessons, Intwari says, adding that interacting with the vulnerable and working towards empowering communities has taught him a lot. “I’ve learned that it does not matter where we come from or what we look like. If we recognise our abilities and are willing to learn and to use what we know in helping others, we will always have a place in the world,” he expressively concludes.