The scars of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi are still fresh, as if our beloved one million countrymen were slaughtered yesterday. And apparently that grim reality of the tragedy that befell our motherland becomes much clearer the more time passes.
The month of April always evokes those bitter memories, and the country struggles to come to terms with that tragic past. We mourn and reflect on the eternal loss of losing our loved ones.
However, although we rightly mourned and continue to mourn our loved ones, this year’s commemoration catchphrase has instilled in us a new sense of purpose, hope and not despair. It is a message of positive living; one that reminds survivors and all Rwandans in general that their survival is not in vein.
Most essentially, this message of hope has not come in mere words. Rather, it is an action-driven gospel; one that has brought together Rwandans here and those in the Diaspora, as well as friends of Rwanda. It came in the shape of what is known as One Dollar Campaign.
Have you donated a Dollar yet? By doing so, you have put a smile on the face of a Genocide orphaned schoolchild who dreads school holidays for lack of a place he or she calls home.
Thanks to the Rwandan Diaspora community –the initiators of this Fund – One Dollar Campaign is coming as a practical example of the difference that can be brought about by someone who refuses to be absorbed in the indifference syndrome that seem to have consumed many of us these days.
And, from the impressive progress the Campaign is making, it is evident that it takes that one bold step from a concerned citizen that the rest can follow suit in advancing a good cause.
It is pleasing and touching to see how Rwandans, from the Cabinet to artists, have warmly embraced the One Dollar Campaign.
The Cabinet had to go public on its members’ commitment to the Campaign announcing recently that each member would donate at least $200.
Local musicians organized a concert and proceeds went to the Campaign as well. Many other groups of Rwandans have contributed or intend to do so. Religious leaders should equally take a leading role.
If they can only dedicate offertories of one Sunday, or a portion of it, to the Campaign, I am sure God would cheerfully open up those Heavenly taps of blessings to them and their congregations.
Schools, hospitals, NGOs, public and private institutions can surely make a difference if they too joined in this national charitable drive.
It is by initiating and supporting such campaigns and by continuing to stand by the side of those most affected by the Genocide that the gospel of hope can bear fruit.
If I was to borrow Apostle Paul’s words in The Great Book, FAITH WITHOU ACTION IS DEAD. That’s why I must say kudos to all those who have supported vulnerable Genocide survivors in one way or another.
Fifteen years on, we must all rally behind those who bear physical or psychological scars of the Genocide, spur them on to live a positive life and to join in the collective struggle for building a better future for the young generation.
Together, we can easily silence those who continue to spread the ideology of genocide, and all those villains who continue to hurl grenades at Genocide memorials and baying for the blood of Genocide survivors. Their acts are evil and will surely be defeated.
Equally, those who shamelessly seek to amass wealth at the expense of vulnerable Genocide survivors should be dealt with in the same measure as those who spend sleepless nights plotting to continue with the Genocide.
The writer is Workforce Development Authority (WDA) Marketing & Communication Specialist