Every year on 25 April, staff and friends of Bralirwa, a brewery in Rwanda, commemorate employees and other victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi. This year, the company’s commemoration event included a Walk to Remember and a ceremony at the Kigali Genocide Memorial.
Staff of the company, as well as the Board of Directors, visited the memorial to remember and learn more about Rwandan history. They toured the exhibition where historical information about Rwanda before, during and after the Genocide is displayed. During their visit, the group also laid wreaths to the burial place at the memorial to pay respect to all victims of the Genocide. More than 250,000 victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi are laid to rest at the Kigali Genocide Memorial.
“We have gathered here to commemorate the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi, especially our former employees who lost their lives in that period. They were important to the company as well as Rwandan society. We are here to give them the value and respect they deserve,” said Payroll Officer, Josue Muhayimana.
Another employee, Toussaint Rutamu, said that the young generation can play an important role in preventing genocide from happening again.
“Young Rwandans are the ones to pay a big role in fighting genocide ideology, but it is impossible unless they are helped by their parents. So, the parents have to teach their children about Rwandan history so that they can also teach others in order to fight against genocide ideology,” Toussaint said.
Ildephonse Twagirayezu said that the only thing needed now is to cultivate love in minds and hearts of Rwandans.
“I think the only lesson to teach people is love. What made genocide happen is the hatred people had cultivated in their hearts. So, it can be the solution if where that hatred was, is replaced by love. This might lead to sustainable peace,” Ildephonse said.
The Bralirwa staff concluded the visit by expressing their gratitude to the Kigali Genocide Memorial team who guided them during the learning tour. Speaking after the commemoration event, the Bralirwa Sale Manager simply said, “Never again”.
Bralirwa has been generously supporting the Kigali Genocide Memorial through the upkeep of the Gardens of Reflection that surround the memorial. These gardens are an important place for survivors to remember their loved ones and for visitors to reflect on what they have learnt and the lessons they can take home with them. The memorial is very grateful for the commitment and support of Bralirwa over many years.