KIGALI - President Paul Kagame, yesterday, hosted members of The Netherlands-based youth group, ‘Unity is Strength Foundation’, who are in the country to deliver the ‘Unity is Strength Diversity Award’ to the country.
The members of the foundation, currently on a fact finding mission on unity and reconciliation, were briefed by the Head of State about Rwanda’s unity and reconciliation experience.
Unity is Strength Foundation awarded Rwanda with the International Diversity Award for its leading role in promoting unity among its people.
Speaking to the press after meeting the President, the founding Executive Director of the group, Sergio Belfor, said that the award was a way of encouraging Rwanda to continue with the unity and reconciliation process.
“Things can only get better. We know things are already happening in this country, but we gave Rwanda the award to encourage the President and the people of Rwanda for the work they have been doing to build the nation,” Belfor told the press.
“For the four days we have been around, we have been to almost all parts of the country; we spoke to more than 4,000 people, mainly young Rwandans and we found that things are going well, the mood is positive,” said Belfor
Belfor said that the team drew many lessons from Rwanda, mainly on the importance of forgiveness which was exhibited after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi
“It’s always difficult to say ‘I forgive you’ to a person who killed your father, your mother or sister, but it happened here. It is a special thing that this country has and we have to share this message across the world,” said Belfor.
He noted that the group was impressed by the determination and ambitions of Rwandan youth, noting that the country has the capacity to reach its development aspirations.
Belfor said that the Dutch youth are ready to be “Rwandan Ambassadors” wherever they go, adding that the group is organising an international peace conference in Rwanda “for the world to come and see what Rwanda has achieved in peace building.”
The Minister of Justice, Tharcisse Karugarama, who received the award on behalf of President Kagame, said that the visiting delegation found out that most of the things that were being said about Rwanda were not right, and that the group had promised to help change the misconceptions about Rwanda.
The delegation visited Mutobo Demobilisation and Reintegration Camp, ULK Rubavu Campus and Iwawa Rehabilitation and Vocational Training Centre.