The Association of Student Survivors of the Genocide (AERG) and former students who survived the Genocide (GAERG) on Sunday concluded their countrywide outreach activities, organised in line with the forthcoming 22nd commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi.
The tour was concluded in Karangazi Sector, Nyagatare District.
Under the ‘AERG-GAERG Week’, the youth built and renovated houses for genocide survivors, cleaned genocide memorial sites, constructed kitchen gardens and gave cows to people who saved lives during the Genocide.
The activities were concluded on AERG’s farm located in Karangazi where the members are undertaking different agricultural activities.
Geraldine Mukeshimana, the Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources, who attended the closing session, thanked the youth for the outreach activities, which she said, compliment government efforts to uplift the welfare of survivors.
She encouraged them to continue working together for the development of the nation.
“There is no doubt that your parents, relatives and neighbours who lost their lives in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi are proud of the activities you have done for the communities,” she told them.
Mukeshimana challenged the youth to work hard on their farm to ensure they get maximum yield, urging them to use the services of agronomists and veterinary officers.
Odette Uwamariya, the Governor for Eastern Province, thanked the students for their commitment and partnerships with communities despite the ordeal many of them went through, at a tender age, during the Genocide.
She used the opportunity to call upon communities in the province to participate in activities organised during the commemoration period.
“These activities are taking us into the commemoration period; let me use this occasion to urge all people to participate in this commemoration week and in the 100 days of remembrance,” she added.
Charles Habonimana, the GAERG president, said they started these activities partly to help vulnerable survivors, but also as a way of giving back to those people who played a role in saving the Tutsi who survived.
He thanked the government for the effort in ensuring they overcame the hard times they faced in the aftermath of the Genocide.
“We were raised by the government; despite what we went through, with the government support we have managed to get somewhere. This is why we help the needy and supplement government in recognition of what it did for us at our time of despair,” he said.
About Rwf116 million was earmarked for these activities, where twelve houses are being built and will be handed to beneficiaries before the beginning of commemoration activities on April 7.
The AERG-GAERG week started in Nyamata, Bugesera District.