AN ASSOCIATION that brings together current and former cabinet ministers and their spouses, Unity Club is set to mark its 20 years anniversary this week.
The celebration, which will coincide with the annual Unity Club Forum, is slated for November 4, in Kigali, according to Monique Nsanzabaganwa, its the first Vice Chairperson.
“I am pleased to announce that this year’s annual forum for the Unity Club will also mark our 20th anniversary,” Nsanzabagwana told journalists on Tuesday evening.
She added that the association has been preparing the 20th anniversary celebrations for the last one year, with a number of other events scheduled to take place, before and after the event across the country.
Nsanzabaganwa said the last 20 years of Unity Club have been a “fulfilling journey” that has instilled the light of peace, unity, patriotism and reconciliation among its members and Rwandans in general.
“The anniversary is indeed a time to examine what we have done for this country in the last 20 years as we forge the next goal for the club—for instance, we could set a 2050 agenda,” she added.
Formed in 1996, two years after the Genocide against the Tutsi, Unity Club has been instrumental in promoting social cohesion and contributing to the country’s sustainable socio-economic development.
The club’s vision, from the onset, has been to create a forum where members, and other Rwandans, are inspired to develop proactive dialogue, productive work and network in order to foster mutual responsibility in addressing social problems hindering Rwanda’s development.
Seraphine Mukantabana, the head of operations in the Unity Club, noted that one of the main highlights for the club, in the last two decades, would be on how the organisation has remained true to its core value of creating lasting legacy of unity and reconciliation, “for without these pillars, we can never achieve other socioeconomic development targets that we have.”
The event will also recognise a group of Rwandans for their exemplary work in promoting unity and reconciliation among Rwandans under the “Abarinzi b'Igihango initiative”
Oda Gasinzigwa, the second deputy chairperson of Unity Club argues that the public should not view the body as “any other organisation” but rather a sort of family of Rwandans that seeks to build lasting unity and peace within the community.’’
“We are here to instill values of unity and reconciliation so the light we carry can be extended to all corners of the world and beyond—and make sure that we do not experience again, what happened in this country 22 years ago,” Gasinzigwa said.
20 years of Unity Club
For the last 20 years, Unity Club has been involved with promoting gender parity, advocating for the socio-economic wellbeing of disadvantaged groups in general, with particular emphasis on orphans and widows.
It has built 20 houses for orphans who grew up in Noel and Nyundo orphanage centres, advocated for the construction of 90 houses for Genocide survivors in Nyamagabe District, among others.
Nsanzabaganwa said that the association has since grown into a platform that contributes towards addressing challenges facing Rwandans unity, that was embraced by communities.
However, the official agrees that “there is a lot yet to be accomplished” in order to sustain the country’s achievements. And this, she said can be achieved if all stakeholders, including government, citizens and development partners, invested their efforts and resources in programmes that bring about social cohesion.