Francois Birikunzira, a 64-year-old survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, could not believe it when he was handed keys to his new permanent home on Sunday.
The resident of Rukumberi sector in Ngoma District, said he had been staying in the kitchen after his old house collapsed months back.
“I can’t believe I now own this beautiful house. I thank God that I now have my own house because we have been having it rough whenever it rained,” said the father of four after receiving the house built by Rwanda Revenue Authority.
Birikunzira was grateful the tax body came to his rescue, saying the act was a gesture of love from the government and other stakeholders that have “diligently worked tirelessly to give survivors a decent life”. He added that accommodation had been one of the biggest challenges the family was facing.
Speaking at the function, the Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean-Philbert Nsengimana, said supporting and caring for genocide survivors helps build their capacity and enables them to become self-reliant in the long-run.
The government was helping genocide survivors in different ways to improve their livelihoods, he added. “Besides, reaching out to genocide survivors is a sign of compassion that supports the healing process and ability to rebuild their lives and become self-reliant,” the minister said.
Ibuka president Jean-Pierre Dusingizemungu, said RRA’s gesture shows high level of unity and togetherness that Rwanda has achieved. “Assisting genocide survivors helps reduce the pain and promotes unity among Rwandans. It is good to lift up each other, which also demonstrates patriotism among Rwandans.”
Richard Tusabe, the RRA Commissioner General, said the support to genocide survivors was part of the tax body’s corporate social responsibility.
Alvera Mukabera, 67, another benecificiary, said when genocide survivors are supported by government institutions, “it is a sign of development”.
In January, RRA donated Rwf45 million to Ibuka for the renovation of 25 houses, and construction of three new houses in Rukumberi sector, which were all handed over to genocide survivors on Sunday.