FEATURED: BK Group PLC remembers; donates solar home systems to survivors in Rulindo District

BK Group Plc staff, leaders, friends and families of BK workers who perished in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis

Over 100 residents in three sectors in Rulindo District have said bye to darkness and can now carry out home related activities after night fall plus being able to charge their mobile phones and listening to radio shows after they received solar home systems.

The home solar systems were donated to them by BK Group Plc‘s as part of activities to commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

BK group Plc staff pay tribute to the victims of 1994 Genocide against tutsis in Rulindo district

On the 12/04/2019, staff of BK Capital, BK Insurance, BK TecHouse and Bank of Kigali led by the bank CEO Dr. Diane Karusisi, travelled to Rulindo District to pay tribute to over a million Tutsis that were killed during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis.

A fire lit at the night vigil at the bank's head office

Before going to the Rulindo memorial site where over 6,694 Genocide victims from the different areas of the District were buried, the bank visited and unveiled the home systems to a hundred families in Ntarabana, Cyinzuzi and Burega Sectors and renovated ten houses that had deteriorated and were in very bad shape.

While delivering her speech during the commemoration activity, the bank CEO, Dr Diane Karusisi said that BK Group has always strived to live in harmony with the communities where they work.

Relatives of the BK workers who perished in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis light candles

“As a company operating in Rwanda we thrive to create a positive impact in the community where we work.  Today’s gesture and those previously done are in line with our commitment to remember and honor the lives that were lost in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. We hold dear the genocide survivors because they fought hard and need to be accompanied in their journey to rebuild” said Karusisi

Friends and family members of BK Group attending the night vigil 

She explained that they chose to donate the solar systems after they were told that many families of Genocide survivors in Rulindo had power needs.

“These systems that we have installed will meet the families’ power needs; they are stand-alone photovoltaic systems that offer a cost-effective mode of supplying amenity power for lighting and appliances to remote off-grid households. With these solar systems, the households will meet their energy demand to fulfill basic electric needs” she added

This year’s commemoration, under the theme of Remember-Unite-Renew, is focusing on the legacy of strength, resilience, honor and unity that the new generation is called upon to sustain and carry forward to adapt to today’s global challenges and future aspirations

Names of BK workers who perished in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis

“Since light signifies hope, intelligence and the capacity of humans to develop on a rational level, we believe that the solar system will be beneficial as a tool of advancement,” added Dr Diane Karusisi, the bank CEO”

Members, family and friends of BK Group attending the night vigil

She called upon every Rwandan to try as much as possible to build the country and to wash away the bad image that was painted of Rwanda by the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis.

“Rwandans are united and the message I want to pass on is that we shall endeavor to build our country and strive to see that what occurred here will never happen again” she said

Giving his commemoration message, Emmanuel Kayiranga, the Mayor of Rulindo District, said there are many problems of Genocide survivors that need to be addressed and that he was happy that many institutions and the government of Rwanda are doing everything possible to address these issues.

Kayiranga thanked BK Group employees for joining local residents to pay tribute to the victims and extending support to vulnerable Genocide survivors.

BK executive and Relative of the BK workers who perished in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis lay wreaths in remembrance

Night Vigil

After braving the morning drizzle in Rulindo, the staff of BK Group together with friends and family members of the Bank’s fifteen workers killed 25 years ago during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi convened at the banks main branch for a night vigil.

During the vigil, family members of the workers that lost their lives laid wreaths and light candles before listening to testimonies from survivors and discussions from prof. Laurent Nkusi.

One of the renovated houses, and installed with solar home systems

The CEO while addressing the gathering during the vigil said that the genocide left a lot of harm and hurt in the Rwandan people as a whole, most especially the survivors. 

As we commemorate, we see three responsibilities that we have: first is to give back respect to those that were savagely murdered. We ought to give them their dignity and respect that was taken from them

Prof. Laurent Nkusi gaving a history of the Genocide against the Tutsis

"It is our responsibility to accompany the Rwandan community in particular the survivors on their journey of healing and rebuilding. By giving back and helping the survivors, we hope that this brings hope that today’s Rwanda is a changed nation and that all Rwandans are united working towards developing the country" said Karusisi

“All of us should endeavor to create for ourselves the country that we want; we shall achieve that by staying united and working hard. We need to be known for being a country of women, men and children that work together to advance the country." explained CEO Diane karusisi

Staff members wait to hand over wreaths to family members

Prof. Nkusi gave a history of the Genocide against the Tutsis, its origin and how it was planned from way back in the 50’s

The Rwandan genocide was a systematic campaign by the Hutu ethnic majority aimed at wiping out each and every member of the minority Tutsi group. 

The Hutu-controlled government and allied militias slaughtered over one million Tutsis before RPF overthrew them.

Mukamugenza Virginia a former worker of BK giving her testimony

On April 7th, the killing began. Hutu militias, most infamously the government-backed Interahamwe, went city-to-city and village-to-village, slaughtering Tutsis with guns and machetes. The militias were horrifyingly efficient, using a radio station to coordinate the beginnings of the campaign around the country and to tell people where "the graves were not quite yet full."

Mukamugenza Viginia a former worker of BK who survived the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis gave a chilling testimony of her survival during the vigil prompting silent tears among relatives and colleagues.

The bank CEO, Dr. Diane Karusisi lays a wreath at Rulindo memorial site during heavy rain

“I started working with Bk on the 25th/02/1970 until I left the bank after retiring on 1st/April 2007 and in all the 37 years I worked here, I thank God” said Mukamugenza

She recalls that a lot happened during her stay at the bank and what she remembers most are the horrors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis.

“We were hunted and many of us who were working here at the bank were killed brutally with machetes and others shot with bullets by the Interahamwe. I thank God for sparing my life.” said Mukamugenza


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