Twenty-two years ago, a significant number of Rwandan youths participated in the Genocide against the Tutsi after years of sustained indoctrination on hate ideology.
Some were even minors when they took part in the killings that left more than a million people dead, shattered the economy, and destroyed the country’s social fabric.
Yet, while a section of the youth actively took part in destroying their country, another group of brave young men and women marched across Rwanda rescuing those who were being hacked and treating their wounds, while at the same time fought and defeated the genocidal machinery.
Today, this generation of liberators has not only led the country back on its feet but has also championed a spectacular transformative agenda that’s changing this country for good.
Most importantly, the majority of the Rwandan youth – some of whom were born shortly before, during or after the Genocide – seem to have taken their cue from the older generation.
They are the agents of change that continue to transform this country right from the grassroots.
From schools and various community causes to startup hubs and boardrooms, we have seen young men and women emerge on the scene to take responsibility to rebuild and propel this nation to greater heights.
During Genocide commemoration periods, the Rwandan youth have not been spectators either, they have become active participants, regularly organizing such events as Walks to Remember and vigils, and partaking in discussions and other activities aimed at keeping the memory alive and ensuring that genocide ideology and denial have no place in today’s Rwanda.
Some have also been involved with campaigns to educate the world about what exactly happened during the Genocide to counter any denial and distortion tendencies, either through Rwandan Diaspora networks, social media platforms, among other forums.
These young people are the hope of Rwanda, they represent this country’s spirit, courage and promise for the future.
They are the product of sustained efforts by the post-Genocide leadership and Rwandans, in general, to create a country that values and empowers its own, and which every citizen is proud to call home.
Indeed, the young generation of Rwanda has had the privilege of being raised in an environment that guarantees and protects such rights as access to healthcare and education, and one that avails equal opportunity to all.
We applaud the good works of the many inspirational young Rwandans out there that are contributing in one way or another to bettering the lives of Rwandans and making their country a better place, and call on all the young people of this country to continue playing their rightful role in the effort to build a safer, and more united and prosperous nation.