Simply put, patriotism is love for your country. It means being proud of being Rwandan and doing your best to make a positive contribution towards your country. Patriotism is important because it helps you to create a better future for yourself, other people and future generations.
It is because of patriotism that you have a chance to grow up in a peaceful, unified and developing country so that you can later have a bright future. The chance to have a normal childhood and to fulfill dreams was denied to many children at several points in the history of Rwanda because people didn’t love their country. An example of this is the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Patriotism is not only right; it is lawful. Article 22 of the law relating to the rights and the protection of the child says, “A child must love his/her nation. During the education stage of a child, civic education programmes are included to allow him/her understand the basis of loving his/her nation.”
Rwanda is a critical part of your identity. One can therefore say that by loving the country, you are also practicing self-love. Moreover, there are many things to love about Rwanda. For example, it is beautiful and has a rich culture.
How can you show your love for your country? Firstly, through education. You have a right to education according to article 23 of the law relating to the rights and protection of the child. It states: “A child has the duty to undergo basic education as ensured by parents and the Government.”
Education is a great way to achieve patriotism because you learn about the country and its people which will increase your appreciation. Additionally, education gives you the knowledge and skills that you require in order to become a productive citizen. Education also provides an opportunity to share ideas about how to be a good citizen. Patriotism clubs are a good place to acquire such ideas.
There are many other ways through which you can show love for your country. You can protect the environment by making sure that you dump rubbish in the right place or by planting and growing a tree.
You can write nice stories about your country and share them with your friends at school. You can participate in Umuganda. You can start or join a patriotism club at school and encourage unity at school. Most importantly, stay in school.