A group of over 80 students and staff from St. Lawrence University Kampala, Uganda, on Saturday visited Murambi Genocide memorial in Nyamagabe District to pay homage to the thousands of Genocide victims interred there.
The students, who hail from all EAC member states, are in the country to pay respect to victims of the Genocide and to learn more about what exactly transpired in Rwanda 21 years ago, when over a million people were killed by fellow Rwandans.
Edward Makuza, who spoke on behalf of the delegation, said this is the third time the students from the university were coming to Rwanda to commemorate the Genocide, and the intention is to help them understand what bad leadership can lead to.
“Our aim is to show students what happened in Rwanda so that they can seek to become better future leaders. There are many lessons they can learn from Rwanda’s experience,” Makuza said.
St. Lawrence University last year launched a programme to offer scholarships to young Genocide survivors to study at the university, a programme that was announced when its rector visited Rwanda.
“When the rector of St. Lawrence University first visited Kigali memorial centre, he was saddened by what happened and offered 100 scholarships to survivors, with at least 30 students supposed to be taken each year,” Makuza said.
Following the tour, the students said they had learnt a lot.
“It is not that I did not completely know what happened here. I had watched it on television but wanted to witness it first-hand. I am deeply saddened,” said Halima Nakayima, one of the students.
She added that the tour had taught her to strive for peace and tolerance.
Murambi Genocide memorial hosts remains of over 35,000 Genocide victims.