GROWING up with the spirit of ‘never again’ to genocide in Rwanda, becoming future parents and leaders of the country is the wish of children who visited Kigali Memorial Centre, Gisozi, yesterday as part of ongoing 23rd commemoration week.
The event was organised by Fabrice Ndayisaba, the founder of Ndayisenga Fabrice Foundation (NFF), in partnership with Miss Rwanda Elsa Iradukunda.
NFF is a local non-profit making organisation based in Kicukiro that brings together children during school-holidays to keep them busy, mainly emphasising on sports, education and culture to build a bright future for the young generation.
NFF was founded in 2009 when Ndayisaba was then barely 14 years old.
The children laid wreaths in honour of Genocide victims before they were briefed about the Rwandan history that led to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and how children of their age were cruelly massacred.
After the visit, the children said the trip was significant as it helped them get firsthand information on the memorial and how the Genocide caused loss of lives of innocent people, including children of their age.
“It is my first time to visit this memorial and I have managed to learn more about how the Genocide was committed and its effects. We visited children’s memorial section and it is unbearable; these are kids who would be now adults and serving the country but their lives were taken by the devil,” said Nadine Uwamahoro, 17, from Gatenga Sector, Kicukiro District.
“As a young generation, we are saddened by what happened and we commit to fight genocide and its ideology so that it never happens again. We are ready to stand for those (children) who were killed, we will do our best to ensure we are good parents and good leaders for the future generation,” she added, hailing the organisers of the event.
Fabrice Ishimwe, from Kanombe Sector, said: “I saw pictures of kids that were killed during the Genocide, some were my age while others were younger. It is so sad that such innocent kids died, as children we say ‘never again’ and commit to build a better country.
“What I learnt from here is that those who were killed during the Genocide committed no crime. From here and in school I learnt that we can’t allow history to repeat itself and we should fight genocide ideology and anything that can take our country back to dark history.”
According to Ndayisaba, NFF founder, taking children to visit memorial centres is one of the ways to help them understand what befell the country during the Genocide and help them learn to shun genocide ideology as future parents and leaders.
“We want children to remember and honour their peers who were killed during the Genocide and to help them fight against genocide ideology,” he said.
The kids are aged between 10 and 17 and after 18 one graduates from the foundation.
Ndayisaba believes that such children leave NFF with ability to take informed decision to enable them fight against genocide ideology.
He said the foundation is also planning to organise sports competitions in various schools to mobilise children on fight against genocide ideology.
This year’s commemoration is marked under the theme, “Remember the Genocide against the Tutsi, Fight Genocide Ideology, Build on Our Progress.”