After returning to Rwanda last year, I have closely observed the way the community work locally known as Umuganda, has influenced the general outlook towards life in Rwanda.
Judging from last month’s community work, I now understand what true reconciliation and unity means at community level. For many, this has been extremely helpful in the process of reconciliation and dealing with the issues that directly affect them.
Especially after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, many homes were not ready to open up to those who were not family, given the fact that thousands of neighbours betrayed one another and led to the banishing of certain families.
Today, the utter necessity of ‘Umuganda’ as a tool for reconciliation and networking at the village level cannot be ignored. Today, people are no longer afraid to know who their next door neighbours are, just because Rwandans are coming together to clean up their neighbourhoods, brainstorm on ways to overcome challenges in their villages and also solve one another’s challenges.