Inmates from Gasabo Prison have pledged to support the ‘Ndi Umunyarwanda’ campaign following an eight-month long campaign led by the Rwanda Correctional Service (RCS) in collaboration with National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC).
The prisoners made the pledge on Friday during the closing ceremony of Ndi Umunyarwanda campaign at the prison in Kimironko Sector, Gasabo District.
The campaign was organised to help prisoners understand their role towards the development of the country as Rwandans.
The Deputy Commissioner General of Prisons, Mary Gahonzire, said the campaign had changed the mindset of the inmates and urged other institutions to join in the campaigns.
“We thank all the partners, public institutions and faith-based associations that contributed to the campaign. The campaign aims to explain the ‘Ndi Umunyarwanda’ initiative to the prisoners, and now we see the fruits of the teaching based on the prisoners’ testimonies. The prisoners were trained in various areas. The initiative aims to promote reconciliation and unity,” Gahonzire said.
Superintendent John Murara, the director of Gasabo Prison, said during the campaign, the prisoners built a strong relationship among themselves, adding that 231 illiterate prisoners were taught how to read and write.
“The campaign changed the mindset of prisoners significantly. They were given lectures on reconciliation. At least 3,072 prisoners were trained on short courses in agriculture, construction, sewing, entrepreneurship, mechanics and electricals, while 2,013 prisoners graduated in reading and writing under the education-for-all policy,” Murara said.
Cyrille Turatsinze, the prisoners’ representative, said the campaign helped them appreciate the fact that they were all Rwandans.
“We appreciate the campaign. Some of us were against ‘Ndi Umunyarwanda’, but during the campaign, we were taught it is there to unite not to divide,” Turatsinze said.
Eduard Munyensanga, an inmate, said the campaign changed his mindset about unity in Rwanda.
“Had the past regimes known ‘Ndi Umunyarwanda’, the Genocide could not have happened. We can’t change our bad history, but we can build a bright future. We have already initiated ‘Ndi Umunyarwanda’ club in the prison and we are ready to support the initiative,” Munyensanga said.