I have written this article to share my two week experience in Ingando with other young Rwandans living in the Diaspora. Six of us attended the program; so what did I learn from these two weeks spent in the Ingando?
I can proudly say that the two weeks made a lasting impact on me. My perspective of Rwanda changed.
The lectures, despite my poor Kinya-rwanda, gave me a surge of patriotism. The lectures imparted in us the necessity to, not only to be proud of our motherland, but also be part of its development, more especially in terms of skills, investments and publicity wherever we are.
I now feel, rightly, that I am an ambassador of Rwanda- who has to defend and promote the values of Rwanda wherever I am.
There is a need in me and those of us growing up in the Diaspora to learn not ONLY the language but culture of our roots.
May I make the point that those like me, growing up in the western world, should take our parents seriously when they urge us to learn and speak Kinyarwanda.
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of the language. It’s also important to learn the National Anthem-you can find the words and the tune on YouTube.com.
Ingando can be a forum to meet other young people studying and growing up across the globe, apart from 6 of us coming from the U.K, we had people studying all over – some from China, USA, Canada, Europe and a sizable number from the rest of Africa.
Probably the best part of the entire experience was getting to meet the President, His Excellency Paul Kagame. He was kind to us and decided to speak to us in English so no one would be left out.
I felt proud that he was the person who led our country. At the end of the course we got a certificate of participation.
So, who qualifies to go to the Ingando?
If your parents or even one of your parents is of Rwandan origin then you qualify to attend it. You must also have completed high school or studying in a University outside Rwanda and between the age of 15-25.
You are also given guided tour of key sites in Rwanda, although our group did not get to see that many-hopefully it will be incorporated in future.
I strongly feel is that, we, as a Rwandan community in the UK and elsewhere, need to put our young people together so that they know each other, plan events and collectively network, support each other and become identified and proud of our motherland- Rwanda.
The author is 18 and living in the United Kingdom.
Her website is http://www.rwandandiasporayouth.org/