Every year, thousands of Rwandan and international students visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial. The students are guided through the memorial to learn about the causes, reality and consequences of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. They are also taught about the importance of remembering genocide so that it can never happen again.
The education programmes run at the memorial share an important message of remembrance, peace, and personal responsibility. Visiting students learn about the unique efforts Rwanda has undertaken to overcome the challenges since 1994 and to foster a sense of shared national identity.
A typical education programme at the memorial includes the following components:
- Rwandan History: A group discussion on the economic, political and social factors that lead to conflict and violence.
- Genocide: An interactive session that asks questions including, ‘What is genocide?’, ‘How can it happen?’ and ‘How do ordinary people become perpetrators?’
- Understanding the ‘Continuum of Violence:’ A set of interactive discussions on analysing violence and decision making to comprehend how it happens.
- The Consequences of Genocide: A question and answer session on the challenges faced by individuals and society after genocide and how to overcome them.
- The Road to Peace: An interactive session that asks the question, ‘How is it possible to have sustainable peace after genocide?’ and tells the stories of peacemakers helping to rebuild their communities.
All education sessions at the Kigali Genocide Memorial are participatory to ensure students get the most out of their experience and take the lessons home with them.
The memorial’s education programme is currently undergoing an expansion thanks to the construction of four new classrooms that were opened in April 2014 at the 10th anniversary of the memorial. Each year, the memorial receives thousands of students.
If you would like to organise for your school to visit the memorial, contact the team here.