GIKONDO - Survivors of the 1994 Genocide at APADE Secondary School in Gikondo, Kigali, in collaboration with the Genocide student survivors association (AERG) on Sunday visited and rehabilitated a memorial site along Remera-Kabuga road.
At that site, remains of over 2500 people were laid to rest in 2000. On Sunday, APADE students cleaned the surroundings of the site and re-arranged the limbs of the victims as a way of paying respect to their fallen relatives.
“When someone close to you dies, you only lose that person physically, but we will always have to remember our lost ones because we loved them,” Vitali Nyirangabo, AERG coordinator, said.
“Here, we’ll learn to remember and accept what happened and from this, our minds will be at peace after cleaning this place,” explained Francois Mukunzi, a teacher in charge of discipline at APADE.
The students, whose school fees are fully paid for by the national survivors’ fund, Fond d’Associasion aux Rescapes du Genocide (FARG), had the sympathy of the surrounding residents.
“While the sense of loss and the intermittent sadness may never go away completely, by doing this we are able to feel some peace, renewed hope, and are encouraged to move beyond our loss and form new attachments,” Alphonsine Murebwayire, the Executive Secretary of Nyarugunga Sector, said.
And a FARG representative, Martin Mutabazi, said: “We provide as much as we can to the students. Apart from the tuition, we also offer mattresses and other basic needs for those in boarding schools.”
The development comes a few days after the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) Executive Secretary Fatuma Ndangiza met with private school owners and advised them to involve students in exercises that promote unity and reconciliation.