We are proud to be called your children, First Lady tells elderly survivors

First Lady Jeannette Kagame hugs Azela Nyirangirumwami, one of the elderly genocide survivors, during the Kwibuka25 commemoration ceremony with Intwaza from Huye and Nyanza Impinganzima hostels in Huye District on Saturday. / Courtesy

First Lady Jeannette Kagame has commended elderly Genocide survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi for their resilience and choice to live a happy and grateful life despite difficulties faced after the Genocide wiped out their entire families.

Kwibuka25 Commemoration Ceremony with Intwaza from Huye and Nyanza Impinganzima Hostels - 8 June 2019.

The First Lady delivered the message in Southern Province’s Huye District on Saturday, where she, Unity Club and AVEGA – Agahozo members had joined the elders for a commemoration ceremony of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The elderly survivors, locally known as ‘Intwaza’ in Kinyarwanda to describe their post-genocide resilience, are widows and widowers – Genocide survivors who live in well managed retirement homes to avoid isolation and loneliness.

Kwibuka25 Commemoration Ceremony with Intwaza from Huye and Nyanza Impinganzima Hostels - 8 June 2019.

Under the leadership of the First Lady, AVEGA – Agahozo, Unity Club and other partners have been investing in providing them with shared shelter and the necessary support and care.

Around 120 of the ‘Intwaza’ gathered at one of their hostels in Mukura sector, Huye district for the commemoration thanked the First Lady and President Paul Kagame for providing them with a proper retirement place where they live a happy life out of isolation.

“They received us very well here and we started living a better life. They give us good care; asking us how we feel on a daily basis and providing us with good meals and medical care. We have all reasons to be happy,” one of the elderly survivors, Azela Nyirangirumwami, told the First Lady.

She said that her life has improved since she was moved from Ruhango District, where she had lived for many years in total despair after the genocide, before moving to Mukura hostel inaugurated in 2016. “We are happy to be back here again to experience firsthand both love and humanity that you indeed stand for,” she told them.

Kwibuka25 Commemoration Ceremony with Intwaza from Huye and Nyanza Impinganzima Hostels - 8 June 2019.

First Lady Mrs Jeannette Kagame delivering her remarks at the Kwibuka25 Commemoration Ceremony with Intwaza from Huye and Nyanza Impinganzima Hostels - 8 June 2019.

Mrs Kagame commended the elderly survivors for their resilience, telling them that they remain a source of inspiration for many Rwandans who seek to live lives full of love and humanity despite having gone through difficulties.

“We are happy to be back here again to experience firsthand both love and humanity that you indeed stand for,” Mrs Kagame told them.

“We are indeed proud to be called your children. Keep being good examples for us”, she added.

Kwibuka25 Commemoration Ceremony with Intwaza from Huye and Nyanza Impinganzima Hostels - 8 June 2019.

The hostels in Mukura Sector were built by Unity Club and its partners, including Bank of Kigali, Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), Rwanda Development Bank (BRD), and the Ministry of Defence, as a project worth Rwf 406 million.

Unity Club Intwararumuri is a Rwandan organisation that brings together former and current government officials and their spouses.

Dr Jean-Damascene Bizimana - ES CNLG at the Kwibuka25 Commemoration Ceremony with Intwaza from Huye and Nyanza Impinganzima Hostels - 8 June 2019.

Ms Valerie Mukabayire of AVEGA-Agahozo at the Kwibuka25 Commemoration Ceremony with Intwaza from Huye and Nyanza Impinganzima Hostels - 8 June 2019.

Ms Azela Nyirangirumwami sharing her testimony at the Kwibuka25 Commemoration Ceremony with Intwaza from Huye and Nyanza Impinganzima Hostels - 8 June 2019.

Pr Jean-Pierre Dusingizemungu of IBUKA at the Kwibuka25 Commemoration Ceremony with Intwaza from Huye and Nyanza Impinganzima Hostels - 8 June 2019.

Singer Mariya Yohana at the Kwibuka25 Commemoration Ceremony with Intwaza from Huye and Nyanza Impinganzima hostels in Huye District on June 8, 2019. / Courtesy

Kwibuka25 Commemoration Ceremony with Intwaza from Huye and Nyanza Impinganzima Hostels - 8 June 2019.

Kwibuka25 Commemoration Ceremony with Intwaza from Huye and Nyanza Impinganzima Hostels - 8 June 2019.

Kwibuka25 Commemoration Ceremony with Intwaza from Huye and Nyanza Impinganzima Hostels - 8 June 2019.

Kwibuka25 Commemoration Ceremony with Intwaza from Huye and Nyanza Impinganzima Hostels - 8 June 2019.

Kwibuka25 Commemoration Ceremony with Intwaza from Huye and Nyanza Impinganzima Hostels - 8 June 2019.

Kwibuka25 Commemoration Ceremony with Intwaza from Huye and Nyanza Impinganzima Hostels - 8 June 2019.

Kwibuka25 Commemoration Ceremony with Intwaza from Huye and Nyanza Impinganzima Hostels - 8 June 2019.

Kwibuka25 Commemoration Ceremony with Intwaza from Huye and Nyanza Impinganzima Hostels - 8 June 2019.

Mr Ange Sebutege - Mayo of Huye District at the Kwibuka25 Commemoration Ceremony with Intwaza from Huye and Nyanza Impinganzima Hostels - 8 June 2019.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com