It was all dance and merry at the Village Urugwiro as President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame hosted close to 200 kids for the End of Year Children’s party, on Sunday.
The annual children’s party, which is usually organised by Imbuto Foundation and the Unity club, brings together children aged between 7 and 12 years old.
These children are selected from all 30 districts of the country, as well as children of Urugwiro staff, Imbuto Foundation, and Unity Club.
This party is a special time dedicated to Rwandan children to share and show love to those less fortunate. It also serves as a reminder to all Rwandans to care, love and give support to vulnerable children.
Some of the children attending the annual children’s party, at the President’s office, are those from vulnerable backgrounds, and, they are usually accompanied by districts representatives and parents to the event.
While officiating at the ceremony, President Kagame urged children to uphold Rwandan values and culture, for they present the best foundation of their upbringing and future life.
“I am very happy to be here with you today,” President Kagame told children gathered at the Christmas Party.”
“This is about making sure you know you are important to us and your education is our priority. We are proud to see that our children continue to uphold our culture. Our values and culture must remain the foundation of our children’s education.”
President Kagame went ahead to send best holiday wishes to the children attending the party, those at home and the citizens at large.
“On behalf of myself and the First Lady, my partner at home and in building this country, I wish you a happy New Year. Let’s continue to base our nation’s transformation on who we are and on instilling a sense of self worth in our children,” Kagame said.
Traditionally – as it has become now – the Children’s Party is filled with fun games and sharing talents. Invited children share joyful moments together, and conclude the day by cutting the cake, which is a long upheld tradition. Thereafter, children are treated to gifts – which they received from President Kagame and the First Lady – before sharing lunch.
Mario Ishimwe, 9, from Gatsibo District, said that, “It was exciting meeting the President of the Republic and dancing for him. He asked us to share our experience and best wishes with our peers when we get back home. I hope I will get the chance to come back here.”
Deborah Irakoze, Primary Five pupil from ES Kacyiru, Gasabo District expressed similar joy meeting children from other parts of the country for a Christmas party.
“I am so happy. We were told that next year they would bring a different group of children. I think it is nice that we all get a chance to meet our leaders. It is nice and inspiring,” Irakoze said.
19-year old Honorine Hirwa Uwase, who is the children national representative, urged all Rwandan children to be grateful for the leadership this country has and work to emulate and sustain what has been achieved.
“We should be grateful for the leadership God has blessed us with. I know human nature sometimes forces people to focus on the negative side of life, looking at what you don’t have or comparing yourself to others. But, honestly, Rwandan children and Rwandans in general should be grateful that we have leaders who work hard through difficult circumstances to make our future better. My message to all children is to open our eyes and keep learning. We have great people and leaders to learn from,” Uwase said.
The event was also attended by some members of the Cabinet, among other public officials.