Youth in Gatsibo District last week started an outreach exercise to renovate and construct houses for the vulnerable widows of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
So far, the 120 youths have constructed three housing units and have committed to building and renovating at least nine houses.
The activity is part of the civic education campaign (ingando) that have brought together hundreds of youths from across the district. It will be carried out for two weeks.
The youths in the camp said they were happy for the work they had done so far, reiterating their zeal to bring meaningful change to their communities, one of the values taught to them during the ingando.
The youths’ representative, Claire Umutoni, said they targeted vulnerable widows of the Genocide especially, the elderly who were left with no family member (incike), among other vulnerable residents.
Umutoni, 19, said they were dedicated to building the nation, adding that many Genocide survivors, particularly the widows ,needed support.
She said they were inspired by the government’s policy of umuganda, which inspires the spirit of working together to improve the quality of life of Rwandans.
“Genocide survivors need the respect and assistance from everyone in society. We are all aspiring to make our country better. And we can do that if only we worked together to support fellow Rwandans who need our help,” she said.
Samuel Muhirwa, 17, said Rwanda was undergoing social transformation, whereby the youth that were used to destroy the nation were now committed to rebuilding it.
“The young generation has conceptualised the spirit of nationalism…we are not forced to give support in kind and cash when helping the vulnerable. It is our responsibility as citizens,” he said.
Gaudance Mukabutera, one of the beneficiaries, said that she had been living in a dilapidated house for several years.
She expressed relief following the renovation of her house which she said was about to collapse.
The Mayor of the district, Richard Gasana, said the act by the youth demonstrated the high level of unity and togetherness that Rwanda has attained.