Young Genocide Survivors Launch ‘Hope’ Activities
by , KT Press.
Thousands of students genocide survivors have converged to Nyanza district in Southern Rwanda to launch activities that restore hope among survivors’ community.
AERG-GAERG week is an annual event that brings together associations of students genocide survivors and their alumni every end of March to support the community of survivors and pay tribute to the 1994 Genocide victims.
On Saturday, the event was launched in Muyira and Kibirizi sectors – Nyanza district where the youth will do cleaning of the newly completed Muyira Genocide memorial.
More than 89,000 remains of victims of 1994 Genocide against Tutsi will be relocated to this multi-million genocide memorial for decent burial.
The young genocide survivors will also launch social activities including; preparing 10 vegetable gardens for the vulnerable genocide survivors and rehabilitation of 4 houses of genocide survivors in Kibirizi sector.
From contributions of the members, two families of Genocide survivors in Kibirizi sector will be given a cow.
Another family is also to be rewarded with a cow ‘inka y’ineza’ for having offered shelter and safe haven to the Tutsi during the 1994 Genocide.
During the genocide, killers turned against their Tutsi neighbours and killed them, teachers killed students or vice versa. There are even very strange cases of doctors who killed or attempted to kill patients, among other cases.
However, some members of the community exhibited high integrity and humanism accepting to hide the Tutsi until the last minute so that the killers do not find them. Some even accepted to die with them rather than forsaking them.
All in all, AERG week not only cement unity and reconciliation but also is a social gesture to survivors.
“These activities intend to show the genocide survivors that we care about what they are going through,” Callixte Dushimiyimana, commissioner for information, documentation and memory at AERG told KT Press.
“We may not completely heal the wounds left by the tragedy, but it is important to send a message of love to the genocide survivors.”
AERG/GAERG week will proceed to Rubavu district on April 3 with inauguration of two houses that were built in similar activities last year. They will prepare 10 vegetable gardens, too.
The survivors will also clean Gisenyi genocide memorial and lay the wreath on the graves.
AERG-GAERG is made of very resilient members who have a vision.
While wrapping up their week on April 5th, they will conduct conservation activities at their nearly 120 hectare farm in Nyagatare district-eastern province.
In the farm, said Dushimiyimana, we have grown maize and banana plantation. We shall also build a fence around the farm where we are conducting modern farming.
In this farm which also include 85 cattle and 73 goats, EARG dug dams and boreholes for irrigation purposes, to move to modern irrigation.
AERG-GAERG week is an annual event and is being conducted for the fourth year.
Since the week was launched, members built 19 houses for needy survivors and rehabilitated 14 others.
They also gave out 24 cows and prepared 237 vegetable gardens to improve nutrition in survivors’ homes.
Cleaning activities were carried to 70 genocide memorials.
Meanwhile, AERG–GAERG members also conduct other activities of public interest. In the last 4 years, they have built a 13-kilometre feeder road network.