The ‘One Dollar Campaign’ was launched last year amidst much fanfare and promise. Many people and organizations made pledges in support of this noble cause meant to raise funds to build houses for Genocide orphans.
Fifteen years after the Genocide against the Tutsi, in which millions perished, this overture was long overdue, and kudos to the minds that thought of it and sold the idea to the rest of us here in Rwanda and in the Diaspora.
In the momentum, prominent persons and organizations, made headlines with photo opportunities galore, as they pledged support for the destitute orphans.
We covered some of them shedding a tear or two in compassion and promising millions to end the orphan’s suffering and give them a dignified life.
It is therefore totally disheartening to learn from the Director General, of the Rwanda Diaspora Directorate, Robert Musozera, that a good 60 percent of the pledges made have not yet been honoured.
It’s simply outrageous that the Directorate in charge of collecting the funds has to make a ‘public appeal’ for people to honour their pledges, notwithstanding that these were voluntary pledges.
There can be lenience towards people who have logistical difficulties in getting their pledges into the publicized accounts.
However, for those organizations and persons, who stole the limelight as ambassadors of goodwill, when the campaign was at its peak, only to disappear now that they have to pay up, is simply deplorable.
We are told that of the Rwf 900 million pledges made only Rwf 400 million is available, which amounts to nothing as work on the project has had to stop.
The paperwork for the construction of the Genocide orphans estate is well in advance, with Gasabo district giving approval for the building site.
Several strategies can be put in place to deal with those who are not honouring their pledges, the first would be to name and shame them, if not then surely there should be legal recourse to force them make the payments.
This is a humanitarian project that aims to give hope to many, who just wish to have a place they call a home. Their hopes have been raised, now it’s time to deliver. There is no turning back.