The Minister of Sports and Culture, Joseph Habineza on July 1, launched As We Forgive Rwanda Initiative, during the VIP event held at Kigali Serena Hotel.
The As We Forgive Rwanda Initiative is a non-profit public/private partnership to encourage a greater public dialogue about the process of repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation using the award wining-documentary film, “As We Forgive”, as an educational tool.
The documentary tells the true story of two Rwandan survivours, Rosaria and Chantal, who come face-to-face with their families’ killers and choose the painful journey of reconciliation.
In her welcoming remarks, Laura Waters Hinson, who directed “As We Forgive”, said that the documentary portrays the new face of Rwanda rebuilding after the tragedy.
She explained that the initiative will cover a national wide documentary tour and discussion programme aimed at encouraging honest and healing conversations about this difficult subject.
“Our goal is to reach all corners of Rwanda through a dynamic partnership among key government and NGO leaders of reconciliation”, Laura said.
Co-hosting the launch event, Habineza declared that he had watched the documentary before, and wondered why Laura made it, only to realise that she is involved in some Church projects.
“I can’t find words to congratulate Laura for the documentary. Thanks so much, it’s incredible.”
In an exclusive interview with The New Times, Habineza emphasized that the culture of forgiveness is important, especially to Rwandans.
“We can’t change the past but we can change the future. The future is in our hands.
Do we want to go back to what we experienced? No! We want to change this country so that our kids and grand children live in really a better country and in harmony.”
The initiative is partnered with the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission and the Ministry of Sports and Culture, as well as many other government agencies and non-profits, all of which serve on the project’s steering committee.
Laura said the initiative’s aim is to present the documentary in all of Rwanda’s 30 districts, in school, prisons, Churches and villages, followed by a complete discussion programme.
“Our Rwandan –led team will train facilitators working within existing reconciliation projects to supplement current efforts.”
Speaking during the launch, the US Ambassador to Rwanda Stuart Symington congratulated Laura’s great work and contribution to the country’s ongoing reconciliation process.