Emilienne Mukarugwiza is a widow residing in Huye Sector of Huye District. She is a mother of three.
To her, Friday September 23 is a day she will never forget, a day on which she was handed keys to a newly refurbished house by Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR).
“My husband had survived the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi but, unfortunately, he was killed in 2014 in the assault on Huye SACCO where he was employed as a night guard. Following his death, life became very difficult,” Mukarugwiza narrates.
“Besides struggling to find something to eat for the family, I have been going through a lot of difficulties having to raise my children in a dilapidated house,” she said, overcome by emotions over the newly refurbished home.
David Ndizeye, another Genocide survivor whose house was also given a facelift, has a family of four.
He said that repairing his house is a gesture of love from the government and its partners who have tirelessly worked towards giving survivors a better life.
“One of the biggest difficulties we were facing was good accommodation. The houses that the government had given us were too old and hence became uninhabitable,” he said.
Ndizeye says that since he now has secured a roof for his family, his next target was acquiring vocational skills that can help him provide for his family.
Theogene Rutayisire, the Shareholders’ Affairs Manager at BPR, said renovating the houses was in line with their annual programme where they conduct activities to uplift the lives of Genocide survivors.
“We believe that living in a good environment is an opportunity to think of activities that can lead them to development” he said.
“Even though we are a financial institution, we also think about development of citizens because it, in the long run, reflects on our portfolio as a bank because if their welfare improves, they will start working with financial institutions,” he said.
Jean Baptiste Mutabaruka, the Human Resource Manager at Huye District, said such acts mitigate effects of the Genocide against the Tutsi, which he said was on a much larger scale in the former Butare Prefecture where the district is located.
According to Rutayisire, over Rwf10 million was used to renovate the two houses.