Rwandans in the Diaspora, particularly those in the United Kingdom, are preparing to launch a fund-raising drive aimed at helping the victims of the recent earthquake that saw 38 people dead in the districts of Rusizi and Nyamasheke.
The head of the Rwandese Community Association in the UK, Eliphas Sukiranya, said they cannot just look on when their fellow countrymen are in dire straits, so the call to lend a helping hand.
This is a very noble act, and the people of Rwanda cannot but appreciate the goodness of spirit of the people behind the gesture. Oftentimes during such disasters, the ordinary person expects that it is the duty of government alone to work out the logistics of helping the suffering population. It is known that the rural population is generally not very well off, but it does not require one to be well off first before lending a helping hand.
People whose homes were over-run, and those who are groaning with wounds and broken limbs need looking after, so that virtually everyone can help in one way or another. There are those who were left not only homeless but also orphans, widows and so on. One way or the other they need substantial help.
All Rwandans in the country and elsewhere should emulate the example of the UK Rwandans and offer whatever form of help they can – material things like clothing, beddings, food, and even help in financial form. We need to learn to help ourselves first, before looking elsewhere. Charity, as they say, begins at home.
So even as Members of Parliament and other government leaders are calling for help to resettle the shattered lives of the people in Cyangugu, let Rwandans at home demonstrate a degree of responsibility towards their own first, so that others can follow.