Support Genocide orphans – Knowless

Following the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, thousands of children were left without parents and, as a result, many children were forced to form families of their own, with the eldest taking responsibility for their siblings.
Knowless (R) lays a wreath at the Nkomero Genocide memorial in the Southern Province. Courtesy photos.
Knowless (R) lays a wreath at the Nkomero Genocide memorial in the Southern Province. Courtesy photos.

Following the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, thousands of children were left without parents and, as a result, many children were forced to form families of their own, with the eldest taking responsibility for their siblings.

Nineteen years down the road, these children are still suffering from the consequences of the Genocide.

As the country commemorates for the 19th time the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, Rwandans are encouraged to participate in commemoration activities, comfort and support the survivors.

Singer Jeanne d’Arc Butera, better known by her stage name Knowless, recently visited Nyanza District and donated goats and foodstuffs to 11 child-headed households living in Nkomero.

During her visit, Knowless comforted the Genocide orphans and encouraged them to strive for self-reliance.

“It has always been my dream to support needy orphans because, as an artiste, it is my responsibility to heal broken hearts, especially during this time as Rwandans mourn the loss of their loved ones,” Knowless told The New Times.

The 22-year-old singer urged her fellow musicians to develop a culture of supporting the needy.

 “People tend to remember to support the Genocide survivors only during the commemoration period, yet these people need our support everyday,” she said.

During her visit, the singer listened to the children reflecting on the Genocide and talking about how they are rebuilding and raising their families.

Emmanuel Gasigwa, one of the orphans the singer visited, commended Knowless for the humanitarian gesture.

Jean Pierre Nkundiye, the coordinator in charge of social affairs in Mukingo sector, thanked Knowless for visiting and supporting the Genocide survivors.

According to UNICEF, there are an estimated 101,000 children that are heading approximately 42,000 households in Rwanda. These children lost parents for various reasons – many were murdered during the Genocide, some have died from AIDS and others are in prison for Genocide-related crimes.

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