It’s that time of year once again, the saddest Chapter in the history of this country that has us all wondering what we could have done to save the over one million innocent lives lost in a matter of days.
The lapses are well documented. From enablers and bystanders to those who closed their doors to scores who needed help. There’s good reason to believe that lessons were learned and as our leaders so often stress, let’s reflect on the past but also do what we can to shape a safer future.
There’s a lot we can do to help survivors heal and ensure that those atrocities never happen again so as we begin this 25th Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, let’s all give our time, material, financial, moral and any other support those around us need not just over the next 100 days but well beyond.
Let’s continue to make compassion and tolerance a daily practice. No act is too small or insignificant. Food, transportation, building materials, counselling. Every little helps. Be a shoulder for someone to cry on.
There will be many memorial events. Attend as many as you can. Pray with or for someone because when we come together, we create or cement relationships in our neighbourhoods and it’s these bonds that will stand the test of time.
To those who need help, please don’t be afraid or too proud to ask. Too often, we don’t feel deserving or don’t want to impose or be a burden to others but you’d be surprised how many people want to help but may not know how or where to start so please reach out to someone.
Lives have been transformed over the years by acts of kindness and generosity.
From fundraisers, grants and scholarships for orphans to projects supporting widows and helping them rebuild their lives.
Even more remarkable is the resilience and resolve of the people of this country to be better and treat each other better. Special thanks to trauma therapists, counsellors and physicians who continue to help survivors on the road to recovery and credit to the journalists and the Print and Broadcast Media in general for working tirelessly to bring Survivors’ stories to light.
These stories need to be told and heard. Many young people weren’t even born when the violence started and it’s important that they understand what happened and why it should never happen again because they are in prime position to take this country forward.
Finally, an appeal to anyone who heard or witnessed an atrocity to share this information not just to clear their conscience but to help deliver justice for the victims.
Families were separated. Wives lost husbands, parents lost children. Relatives and friends disappeared and to this day, their whereabouts or fate are unknown.
It’s difficult every time a mass grave is unearthed or remains uncovered in one structure or another but at the same time, it means someone, somewhere finally has answers so if you know something, anything, please speak up so more families can get closure.