Rwandans living in the Diaspora say they want to be part of the country’s transformation process by taking part in activities aimed at improving the welfare of vulnerable people.
Organised under the Rwanda Diaspora Global Network (RDGN), they pledged to commit resources to help survivors of the Genocide, orphans and ex-combatants among others.
“During the next two years of our mandate, we will commit our resources to socioeconomic activities; helping our fellow Rwandans with various challenging such as Genocide survivors, ex-combatants and orphans so that they can have a better life,” Norbert Haguma, the vice chairperson of RDGN said.
He spoke during a special community work (Umuganda) in Rusheshe cell, Masaka sector in Kicukiro District. The group leveled land in the settlement before sharing soft drinks with survivors of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, orphans and Rwandans evicted from Tanzania in 2013.
Rusheshe settlement has over 260 homes occupied by vulnerable families. It was commissioned by President Paul Kagame in February last year and is planned for 350 homes.
The RDGN is a non-profit organisation which aims at cementing unity among Diaspora Rwandans; establish strong global networks and promote the Rwandan culture abroad.
“Umuganda is one great local concept that we also wish to promote in our respective countries of residence around the world. We want to do more of these community services here in our country, but also for our brothers and sisters in the countries we stay,” Haguma said.
RDGN members also plan to revive their commitments regarding their participation and engagements in local events, turning up in large numbers as well as contributing more solidly, as they seek to contribute towards Rwanda’s socio-economic development.
“We want to get more organized, because we expect high number of members’ turn up and solid commitment to our undertakings,” Haguma reiterated.
During the recently concluded national dialogue-Umushyikirano, about 400 members of the Diaspora community showed up, but Haguma, is optimistic that this years’ Diaspora turn-up might double the 2014 attendance.
The executive Secretary of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission Dr. Jean-Baptiste Habyarimana, noted that having Rwandans, willing to support their fellow countrymen and women is a big step in achieving unity and reconciliation.
“It is a sign of patriotism, love and reconciliation,” Habyarimana said.
Sophia Uwera, a Genocide survivor and widow of six children staying in this community was overcame by emotions saying that it is overwhelming to see members of Diaspora coming to spend time with them.
“It so satisfying, to know that someone out there, thinks about you and wants to spend time with you.” Uwera said, as she was overcome with emotions.
Vestine Kampundu, an evictee from Tanzania also noted that the government was so helpful in building them better houses and giving basics that proved to give a better life than they had back in Tanzania.
The 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi claimed over 1 million victims and forced over 3 million people into exile.
On the other hand, over 7,000 people who were evicted from Tanzania late last year and many are currently located in the transit camp in Rukara in the Eastern districts of Bugesera.
The eviction process left broken families, properties lost and homes burned down, during when Tanzanian security operatives were enforcing the expulsion exercise.
Most of the evictees were from the districts of Bukoba, Muleba, Karagwe, Biharamulo and Ngara in the Akagera region.