KIGALI - Fina Bank has set up a survivors’ scholarship scheme to support genocide survivors, the bank’s business manager, Lina Mukashyaka, has announced.
During a genocide commemoration event held at the bank’s headquarters on Saturday, Mukashyaka said the scholarships are aimed at supporting children of those killed during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
The scholarship scheme will enable the beneficiaries access tertiary education.
“We have been reaching out to survivors by giving them basic necessities in the last three years, but we decided to do something more meaningful,” she said.
Mukashyaka noted that as a foreign institution, Fina Bank respects the history of Rwanda, adding that history was an important component in shaping the future.
“It is a known fact that you will never know where you are going unless you know where you are coming from.”
She said the scholarship is managed by Survivors Fund, an organisation set up to support genocide survivors. The organisation will identify the beneficiaries and keep track of their performance at the University.
Last year, Clandine Uwimana and Martin Baributsa, both students at the Adventist University of East and Central Africa in Kigali were some of the beneficiaries.
In his speech, the coordinator of the Survivors Fund, Wilson Gabo, hailed the bank for its commitment to support the survivors.“We now have over 1,800 survivors who want to go to school; we appeal to other institutions to emulate Fina Bank by helping them in something more sustainable like education”, he echoed.
The Managing Director of Fina Bank, Rwanda Rao B. Balivada, urged Rwandans to uphold the truth through the commemoration and to encourage reconciliation for development.
“Genocide was a misguided, state funded cruelty where protectors became perpetrators. I call on all Rwandans to show the world that reconciliation and forgiveness can bring peace and development.”
“Rwanda’s work is worth emulating and the world upholds that,” he said, observing that Fina Bank is committed to ensure that development thrives in the country through innovative and customer oriented services to all Rwandans.
During the event, the audience was moved by testimonies from children of former bank staff.
Marie Ange Umuhoza, now a student at KIST said her father died when she and her sister were 5 and 3-years old respectively, adding that they never got enough time to be with him as they lived in Gisenyi, while he worked for the Bank in Kigali.
“We have not found our father’s remains but I thank the bank for giving me this chance to remember him, in particular. When he died, our mother, whom we were staying with in Gisenyi, hid us in an orphanage. A day later, she was also killed and our hopes were shuttered,”an emotional Umuhoza said.