President Paul Kagame has said that every Rwandan has a role to play in preserving safety and security of the country as it is the foundation of a strong nation.
Kagame said this while officiating the at the closing ceremony of the 10th edition of Itorero Indangamirwa, a civic training programme for youth.
The Itorero cohort included participants who have attended previous Indangamirwa intakes, fresh entrants as well as a select Senior Six graduates who performed exceptionally well during national examinations.
Kagame hailed the participants who had to set aside their work commitments, school and families to attend the training, saying that it is a great act of sacrifice.
“This is just the beginning,” Kagame told the Itorero graduates, referring to the completion of a month-long training that also focused on basic military skills, among other courses.
“Security is the foundation of nation building, it forms the basis of a nation’s transformation,” the President said.
“In the world we live in, there are many disruptions. But nothing can shake a nation built on a strong foundation.”
Kagame reminded them that where there is will, there is always a way.
He gave an example of how the successful liberation struggle that ended the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was carried out by men and women with meagre resources and ill-equipped but their will made it possible.
He reminded the young men and women that they cannot lose direction if they are focused with a solid vision.
Boniface Rucagu, the chairperson of the National Itorero Commission, said the training attracted 523 young citizens between age 18 and 35, including 148 girls.
Of the 523 participants, some 107 were attending this training for the first time while 187 were doing a refresher course.
Rucagu explained that the training put a lot of emphasis on national history and Rwanda’s vision because they wanted to nurture future leaders who would carry on with the national aspirations as well as defend national sovereignty.
Defence minister James Kabarebe said 65 participants asked to join Rwanda Military Academy, Gako, for specialised military skills, while 72 expressed willingness to join the national reserve force.
At least 2000 youths have gone through the course since its inception in 2008.
“You have set an example to your peers who are yet to attend this training. I thank you, your families, employers and trainers who made it possible for you to take part in this training. This is yet another way of participating in nation building,” Kagame told the youths.
Urielle Umutoni, 18, who lives in the US, said the training was an eye opener.
“My aunt encouraged me to come and it’s been an eye opener; learning about the history and the vision of my country was such a great deal for me. I encourage my brothers and sisters to come next time,” Umutoni said.