Youth speak of their expectations as Itorero kicks off

1,256 were already present in Kayonza’s three sites when the camp was officially launched on Wednesday night, with Kayonza Modern School site alone hosting over 600. Photos by Jean de Dieu Nsabimana.

The nearly1,500 secondary school leavers at Kayonza’s Itorero sites have high expectations of getting more information on their country as well as cultural values and patriotism.

Livingston Katurebe, 21, from Mwili Sector, a former accounting student at Apekka TVET School in Kabarondo sector, Kayonza District, said he expected to learn more about Rwanda’s cultural values, its history, as well as how they can preserve it.

“I am ready to sacrifice myself for my country; and if necessary, I can die for it,” said Joseph Muhoza, 19, a former student at GS Nyawera in Mwili Sector

Eastern Province Governor, Fred Mufulukye, told them that in spite of their short stay at Itorero, they would get all they needed.

“People you left in your communities must see that you have gained something. Let them see positive changes in you when you leave this place,” he asked them.

Almost all the fresh secondary school leavers were born after the Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994, and some were even born in 2000s Governor Mufulukye briefly explained to them about how hard it was before and shortly after 1994.

Youth in Itorero spoke of their expectations at the Kayonza Modern Secondary School site, Mukarange Sector, Kayonza District.

“You cannot make progress if you have no vision. But now that the country has a vision, you should also have a vision for yourselves,” he added.

With Itorero, the official expects the youth to learn to detest drug abuse and to convince others in their communities to do the same.

“You will go to teach your peers,” he said, explaining that they are expected to help address malnutrition, teen pregnancies and drug abuse, among other concerns.

Mufulukye highlighted that the end of Itorero will see them ready to contribute in Itorero in villages which the government launched last month.

 “They have trainers here who are experienced, we believe that these young people will go and help the trainees in their respective villages. They are another strength, and the knowledge they will learn from here will strengthen that Itorero in the villages,” he explained during an interview.