The National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) will intensify Ndi Umunyarwanda campaigns with a focus on the youth in the next eight months.
The plans were announced in the Senate on Wednesday by the commission president , Bishop (rtd) John Rucyahana, while presenting a report of NURC’s activities for the Financial Year 2014/15 and action plans for the current financial year.
Introduced about two years ago, Ndi Umunyarwanda is a concept that encourages Rwandans to openly talk about their history in order to heal through truth-telling, penance and forgiving.
The country’s leaders, researchers, and analysts say the programme has helped build the Rwandan spirit among many Rwandans and healed their wounds from the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and brutal discriminatory policies that preceded it.
Officials at NURC say the programme’s campaigns have to target the youth so that it moves from only healing wounds of those who lived through the Genocide and the country’s history of ethnic discrimination to preventing such atrocities from happening again in the future.
“Our youths are our future. We need measures in place to give them the right education,” Rucyahana said.
Through training teachers about the Ndi Umunyarwanda campaign and equipping them with instructive materials on how to sensitise learners in schools, NURC officials hope to inculcate good values in the country’s youth.
Rwandans in the Diaspora will also be trained to enable them to teach other nationals about the Rwandan spirit of unity.
NURC officials will also continue to sensitise all Rwandans in their communities about unity and reconciliation by using all the possible means such as community meetings, media messages, as well as creative works like songs and plays.
“We want unity and reconciliation to not just be a philosophy but also a way of life for Rwandans,” Rucyahana added.
The senators welcomed reports that the Ndi Umunyarwanda campaign has helped in healing many Rwandans and promoted unity, and pledged support to NURC in its activities.
“The Senate will not hesitate to support the unity and reconciliation campaign since it is within our mandate to do so,” said Senate president Bernard Makuza.
NURC is mandated by the Constitution to prepare and coordinate the national programme for the promotion of national unity and reconciliation.
It submits its annual activity report and plan of action to the Presidency and the Senate.