Staff and management of Business Development Fund (BDF) last Thursday remembered victims of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi in Karongi district, Bisesero, where more than 50,000 victims were slaughtered.
“We have visited different memorial sites across the country but Bisesero has exceptional history to learn from. It was our maiden visit to this memorial and this was an opportunity for our employees most of whom were young or unborn at the time of the genocide to know the history and build a good future with a strong devotion to Never Again,” said John Rutagengwa, Senior Investment Analyst at BDF.
“Tragedy happened in Bisesero and elsewhere in the country. We come to remember and reaffirm our commitment to never let this happen again,” he added.
He explained that BDF is ready to support survivors as they strive for prosperity.
Every year, during the commemoration period, BDF joins other Rwandans to support genocide survivors. In April 2016, BDF staff joined the rest of the nation in commemorating the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi where BDF team paid a visit to Murambi Genocide Memorial Site, located in Nyamagabe district. During the Genocide, close to 50,000 people lost their lives at Murambi Hills. As part of the Corporate Social Responsibility, BDF supported 213 people in Nyamagabe to access medical care through payment of their Mutuelle de Sante, facilitated four households to construct pit latrines and provided water supply to a home of an elderly lady in Nyamagabe.
“Our business is to facilitate access to finance and advisory to business startups. For survivors, the support is bigger. We provide capacity building interventions and apart from that, we visit and renovate their houses, pay health insurance for them, among others,” says Rutagengwa.
BDF plans to give free training to a group of survivors in Karongi district under the “start and improve your business” program, according to Rutagengwa.
Alphonsine Mukashema, one of the group members said “We had not yet got any support and this made us pessimistic. We were reluctant to venture into business because we were doubtful of success. Now that they promised to help us, we are going to work hard to develop ideas into business.”
BDF staff and management learned about the horrible events that the Basesero endured during the genocide as well as their resistance against Interahamwe which was subdued by military interventions and what survivors call French treason.
Landry Jabo who works in BDF said the bravery of Basesero offers an unforgettable lesson. He called on fellow youth to learn from the past and shungenocideideology.
“As the youth, we should distance ourselves from the genocide ideology and anything that can lead to such dark moments. Let’s rather strive for development,” he noted.
Bisesero genocide memorial was inaugurated in 1999.