The Director General in charge of Economic Development for the UK Department for International Development, David Kennedy, has visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial and paid respects to victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi. The visit was part of a three day official visit to the country.
During his visit, Mr Kennedy was welcomed by Honore Gatera, Memorial Manager, Freddy Mutanguha, Aegis Trust Regional Director and Yves Kamuronsi, Aegis Trust Country Director. Aegis Trust runs the Kigali Genocide Memorial on behalf of the Government of Rwanda.
The Director General was accompanied by Laure Beaufils, the Head of DfID in Rwanda. The pair paid respects by laying a wreath of flowers on the burial place where more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide have been laid to rest. They also observed a moment of silence.
Mr Kennedy and Ms Beaufils were guided through the memorial’s exhibitions to learn about the historical background of the Genocide and the progress Rwanda has made since 1994 through a set of home grown initiatives put into place to build unity and reconciliation. They were also showed an exhibition that remembers the children killed in the Genocide as well as one about how young Rwandans are promoting peace and harmony in their communities.
Mr Kennedy also took part in a peace education workshop with a visiting class from a local school at the memorial’s education centre.
To conclude his tour of the memorial, Mr Kennedy left a message in the guestbook, writing:
“A very powerful and moving memorial.”
DfID’s work supporting Remembrance & Learning
The Department for International Development (DfID) is a United Kingdom government department responsible for administering overseas aid. The goal of the department is “to promote sustainable development and eliminate world poverty”. In this regard, DfID has been a great supporter and partner with Aegis Trust, an international genocide prevention organisation that runs the Kigali Genocide Memorial on behalf of the Government of Rwanda. DfID has also supported the work of developing the Murambi Genocide Memorial exhibitions along with the National Commission for the Fight against the Genocide (CNLG), funded the pilot Peace Education Programme in Rwanda between 2008-10 and is a principal funder of the Aegis-led Genocide Research and Reconciliation Programme.