Rwandans should uphold unity and inculcate it in the youth to sustain what the country has achieved.
The First Lady Jeannette Kagame made the remarks at the inauguration ceremony of Impinganzima hostels built for Genocide widows in Mukura Sector, Huye District, yesterday.
The hostels will accommodate 100 “Incike”, the elderly women who lost husbands and children during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The hostels worth Rwf 406 million were built by Unity Club Intwararumuri, an organisation that brings together former and current government officials and their spouses in partnership with Bank of Kigali, Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) Rwanda Development Bank (BRD), Ministry of Defence, among others.
The event was also graced by various officials that include president of the Senate, Ministers, army officials and police officers, among other members of the Unity Club.
Mrs. Kagame, who is also the Chairperson of Unity Club, stressed that unity has been substantial in what has been achieved, and called on Rwandans to continue to uphold it.
“Social cohesion, economic development, justice, technology, among other things, that we are proud to have achieved was due to unity and sacrifice among Rwandans and we should all commit to preserve that,” she said.
“Let’s uphold the culture of cooperation and transfer it to the youth so that they grow up with Rwandan values. This will make them good citizens who are ready to voluntarily support others.”
The First Lady also commended the widows for having overcome the pains of the past.
“You have been brave as you managed to withstand physical and emotional pain. Your resilience has motivated us to support you,” she said, further explaining that although they have lost relatives, they still have the country, which is everyone’s family.
Valérie Mukabayire, president of AVEGA Agahozo, an association of Genocide widows, thanked the Unity Club for being behind survivors through the journey of reconstruction.
“We thank Unity Club for taking the lead in finding a sustainable solution for the widows that ensures decent end of their lives.
Despite the tragic past, it is soothing that we have good leadership, that always heeds survivors’ concerns. This gives us hope that those yet to get homes will soon be catered for,” she noted.
“We are cognisant and indebted to those who stopped the Genocide. They rescued us and restored our hope, giving us strength to reorganise. That strength guided us and will take us anywhere,” she added.
Apart from the houses, 1,000 hens to supplement their nutritional needs were given to the widows.
The State Minister for Social Affairs and Social Protection, Dr Alvera Mukabaramba, said the act signals love and selflessness which supplements the government’s drive to support the neediest among others.
“This is also giving them back their value which they were deprived of during the Genocide,” she said.