HUYE - Representatives of the Rwanda- Australia Friendship Association (RAFA), Tuesday, visited an association of genocide survivors in Karama Sector to pay tribute to genocide victims at Karama Genocide Memorial site.
John Middleton, an Australian national and president of RAFA told The New Times that Australians like other people world over, were shocked by what happened in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide and concerned about the plight of genocide survivors.
This was the main reason for the starting up of the association to help genocide survivors rebuild their shattered lives through starting up of income generating projects, he said.
RAFA has established a close working relationship with survivors of Karama Sector since 2007, donating cows which have greatly impacted the lives of the beneficiaries.
Aubert Ruzigandekwe, a Rwandan living in Australia and member of RAFA association, said that after assessing the impact of the first donation to vulnerable genocide survivors, the association has resolved to donate 50 more cows.
“We are happy with the impact of the cows on the lives of the beneficiaries, we will expand this programme to other areas in future if funds permit,” said Ruzigandekwe.
Beneficiaries who talked to The New Times lauded RAFA for the initiative that has enabled them live more sustainable lives.
“I used to work on my neighbours’ farm so as to get manure to use in my garden, but since I received a cow, I am able to get milk on top of the much needed manure for my farming activities,” one beneficiary said.
Edouard Kabarega, the president of the association of genocide survivors in the district, welcomed the collaboration with RAFA. He said that the programme will go a long way to support government’s efforts in ensuring that genocide survivors lead decent lives.
RAFA association was created in Australia in 2007 by Rwandans and their friends living in Australia. It is currently composed of three Rwandan and four Australian families.
The association has so far donated 26 cows.
The association raises money mainly by selling Rwandan coffee in Woolworths supermarket in Australia.