Editorial: The strength of surviving the Genocide will not waver, and survivors know that

The 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi left - on first impression - insurmountable tasks. The country was quasi-empty; over a million lay dead, four times the number fled the country while the rest were internally displaced.

Survivors of the Genocide were like the walking dead, they were in a deep daze not fully understanding what they had gone through.

But slowly by slowly, the inevitable would sink in once they got to their homes to find them empty, destroyed, and in the worst case scenario possible, the decomposing bodies of their loved ones that had fed stray dogs for the last three months.

It would have been easy and understandable for any other government that had just inherited ‘ post-Genocide Rwanda’, to throw their hands up in the air in despair. Since the machinery of government was in disrepair, the needs of the survivors came second.

But for the government that was out of the question; the survivors needed to be quickly put on their feet to take part in nation building. Their rehabilitation and putting the country in order would be done in tandem.

But deep down, there was a more serious and traumatic problem; some found themselves alone. They were the sole survivors in their extended families; they had no one to turn to, especially for the elderly.

Today the elderly sole survivors have made peace with their painful past. In most cases, the government has built them houses and they live in communities consoling each other.

Just this week, young student survivors of the Genocide - about the same age as the grandchildren they never saw grow up - paid a visit to the communities known as “Intwaza”. It was a therapeutic visit for both sides.

That is the kind of remedy survivors need as we approach the 25th anniversary of the Genocide against the Tutsi- having each other’s back.

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