Dallas Rwanda youth convention timely

Editor, Reference is made to the story, “Over 700 for inaugural Diaspora Youth Forum” (The New Times, May 21). The anticipation for this first-time Rwanda Youth Forum in Dallas, Texas, can be felt in the Diaspora community.

Editor,

Reference is made to the story, “Over 700 for inaugural Diaspora Youth Forum” (The New Times, May 21).

The anticipation for this first-time Rwanda Youth Forum in Dallas, Texas, can be felt in the Diaspora community.

In December 2014, a car accident shook the Rwandan community in Dallas, across the US, and in Rwanda. Two Rwandan students lost their lives, and others suffered injuries, of which some are still battling today.

The Government of Rwanda took it upon itself to assist the families of the deceased, and the Rwandan community in the US showed great support to the victims’ families and the survivors.

Although everything seems to have gone back to normal, there is a need to reconvene, not only in light of this tragic event, but also to gather, as young Rwandans, who are living away from home, and determined to make valuable contributions to their country.

This event (which kicks off today) has already attracted a large crowd from all corners of the US.

A campaign for this event has been circulating on social media outlets. It showcases why the youth feels compelled to attend, and what they hope to get out of the event. The expectations cover a wide spectrum, but the overlapping reasons across the board seem to be around the themes of connecting with others, and figuring out how to concretely participate in the efforts to build a better Rwanda.

The youth in the US Diaspora have incredible peers to look up to. They hope to partner with those at home, in order to identify areas of need and opportunities for growth, where their efforts can be harnessed, for individual and communal development.

Although distance is a challenge, they are fortunate to live in an era where technology has facilitated communication, making partnerships possible across continents. In an economy that is developing as fast as Rwanda’s is, it is important to ensure that the youth are not left behind, or that some skills do not go untapped in the process.

The youth in the Diaspora looks forward to taking advantage of the incredible amount of resources that Rwanda has invested in innovative projects that will continue to put the country in high regard.

The main aim of this event is to rekindle the flames of resilience of the Rwandan people, the spirit of unity they have fought so hard for, the determination and hard work of the young people of Rwanda, the hunger for success and development, and the dream to see Rwanda prosper.

Elodie Shami

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