A group of youths from across the continent, dubbed African Union Youth Volunteers, has been challenged to learn from the bad history of different countries around the world and Africa, in particular, in order to pursue efforts to rebuild their continent.
The call was made Saturday by Emmanuel Bigenimana, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Youth, while addressing 100 youths from 44 African countries during their tour of Kigali Memorial Genocide Centre where they paid tribute to victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Since last week, the youths are attending a camp in Kigali ahead of the 9th edition of the African Union Youth Volunteers Corps due in 2019.
— AU Youth Volunteer Corps (@AU_YVC) September 29, 2018
After the two-week course, the trainees will be deployed to different countries across the continent as part of African Union’s engagement with the youth in the development of the continent.
At the memorial, the youth watched video documentaries, toured the site and laid wreath on the graves of victims.
“Our development should be based on promoting human rights by avoiding any act against humanity. Rwanda has faced a terrible past and youth across the continent should learn from it. We have also to give them homework to take back to their countries to ensure that our world remains free of genocide and its ideology,” Begenimana said.
He urged them to spread the message of peace and unity in their respective countries.
Today @AU_YVC in training in @CityofKigali have joined the residences of Rusororo sector in @Gasabo_District in a monthly community work (umuganda) They are making kitchen gardens &digging canals to fight against erosion around Gasaka village.#TheAfricaWeWant pic.twitter.com/stEM3yRyB2— MiniYouth | Rwanda (@MinYouthRwanda) September 29, 2018
After the visit, Lova Andriamasinoro, from Madagascar, said: “What I have seen at the memorial is so painful. It is beyond our understanding of how such atrocities can be committed against humanity, against neighbours and friends.’
“Despite this dark past,” she added, “Rwandans should be proud of where they are today and the rest of the world should learn from the country’s recovery and progress.”
Ayman Taleb, from Morocco, also said that Rwanda’s violent past should serve as a lesson to the rest of the world to ensure the same doesn’t happen anywhere else.
He pledged to join in the effort against genocide ideology and to raise awareness among fellow youths in his own country and elsewhere on the continent on the need to partake in the effort.