For the 17th Commemoration of the Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsis, we decided to discuss about how Rwandans have endeavored to heal and move on from the tragic events of 1994 and live peacefully and happily.
For one, I’ll discuss about how the society, which includes friends, neighbours and particularly the Government, has helped to heal the hearts of many Rwandans who seemingly had a blind future to walk into after losing so much during the Genocide.
The Government realizes that the healing process is a huge task; considering the big number of Genocide survivors, each having their own character and time period it takes to heal completely.
While the whole world thought it an impossible task, the Government worked together with the community to make sure that unity and reconciliation becomes a reality, and indeed, the fruits are evident.
Through the Commission to Fight against the Genocide (CNLG), IBUKA, National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) and other organizations, survivors have been given hope through very many peace building and heart healing projects.
Many of the projects are specific, that is to say, they nurture groups like women survivors, students and vulnerable children by offering counseling, education and financial help, so that they can have a brighter future.
Similarly, lots of endeavors to assimilate former Genocidal convicts into the society to live alongside the people they aggrieved have paid off pricelessly.
Currently, when someone of little knowledge on Rwandan history comes in, it wouldn’t be easy for them to guess that 17 years ago, it was all chaos and dangerous. Thanks to the resilient work done by the Government and the willingness of people to heal past the occurrences.
Back in the community, people have treated each other like brothers and sisters and not like strangers from another part of the world. This may seem normal to the rest of the world, but with the circumstances that Rwanda faced back then, it was impossible to believe that such a day would really be achieved.
To heal from trauma and pain, sometimes it’s not easy for an individual to do it alone. You cannot hide in the corner of your room and hope to fight the pain away cold-turkey style. That is why Rwandan families, friends and neighbours have taken that extra step to maneuver through by upholding the truth and restoring people’s lives and their dignity.
What I personally consider the most important thing that Government has ensured is that they chose to keep the Genocide memory alive. By setting up genocide memorial sites and preserving our history in the museums, it indicated that we are not ready to run away from our past.
It shows that for one to heal, they don’t have to forget what happened, but face their fears, forgive and reconcile with each other and live in a happy environment.
Although 17 years ago isn’t so long ago, the spirit portrayed in Rwanda indicates that Rwandans prefer to look into the future with anticipation and hope.
With Rwanda’s good leadership that supports prosperity, peace and good neighbours, Rwandans are healing from the tragic events and working together for the common good of Rwanda.