MUSANZE - It was fanfare, with emotional testimonies as orphaned students at Sonrise Primary and Secondary School bade farewell to the outgoing Bishop of Shyira Anglican Church Diocese and founder of the school, Bishop John Rucyahana.
Rucyahana, who is currently the president of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, recently retired from his diocesan duties after 13 years at the helm of Shyira Diocese.
Students staged plays, music, songs and poems as a tribute to the outgoing clergyman and his wife Harriet, for having picked them from streets as orphans, and offered them free education.
Noting that they were not orphans any more, the students testified that they had received love, care, financial support and education.
“We shall remember you for being our mentor. As orphans, we received love, care, and protection. We promise never to let you down; we shall emulate your qualities of being kind to the needy. Thank you so much for the generosity,’’ said Joy Munyana, 19, a primary five pupil who joined Sonrise, at the age of 10 from Gakoni orphanage centre.
Sonrise Secondary School has a population of 619 students, including genocide orphans.
The Rucyahana family received an assortment of gifts; traditional regalia including a spear, shield, peace baskets and many others from the students.
Rucyahana challenged the students to be productive and creative when they finally complete their studies.
“The journey continues. We started in isolation and tears…I therefore have hope that you will become the masters of our nation’s destiny.
Rwanda is small, but its name is bigger; you should go and bear fruits,” Rucyahana said. He added that the youth should become designers of a new Rwanda by becoming ‘conquerors’ and agents of redemption in order to live in a united country.