About sixty orphans who were living at the Belgian Red Cross premises in 1994 have grouped themselves into Bamporeze Association that was officially launched on Sunday.
Belgian Red Cross had an orphanage at its Kacyiru headquarters. During the 1994 genocide against Tutsi, over 50 orphans among them were killed, and according to survivors’ testimonies, perpetrators included fellow orphans.
Members of the association say their most pressing objective is to pay tribute to their friends who were killed in that place.
Etienne Olivier Usabase, the president of Bamporeze Association, said they have been trying to set up the association but could not get any financial and moral support.
“There is no genocide memorial site here and we have never been able to exhume and lay to rest our colleagues with due respect,” a tearful Usabase told the gathering.
Usabase, who is in his thirties, explained that they were all young during the genocide and could not have done it by themselves, adding that that the Belgian Red Cross did nothing after the genocide to track down the perpetrators, nor did they follow up to know what happened to the orphans and their facilitators.
The Executive Secretary of the National Commission against Genocide, Jean de Dieu Mucyo, consoled the orphans and promised that the government will do its best to help them overcome the problems they face.
“You need to be united and help each other because that will help you remember with an aim to move forward,” he said, urging them to use the support they get properly instead of wasting it.
Apart from helping them carry on the culture of remembering the genocide, Bamporeze association also aims at reuniting its members since they were not able to live together after 1994.