A group of students accompanied by their teachers from Huron University students in Canada have visited Kigali Genocide Memorial to pay respects to victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi and learn about genocide history.
These students began their visit with a laying of wreaths on the burial place where more than 250.000 victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi laid to rest. The group continued with the visit by touring the memorial’s exhibitions which explain more about the causes and consequences of the Genocide. They also learnt about the country’s post-genocide rebuilding efforts.
Some of them shared their impressions after the visit.
“It was really shocking to see how hate propaganda can make someone loose humanity. Our guide told us a story of his friend, a boy the use to play with back when they were still young: a father of this boy during the genocide killed his son, his own wife and daughter. I learnt that from the stories our guide told us,”
Peter Hansum, student at Huron University.
“Stories in the children’s room were so distressing when learning how even innocent children were killed. The biggest lesson that I learnt from here is that if Rwandan’s have been able to forgive one another; Europeans and Americans, we can learn a lot from them about forgiveness,”
“All the pictures of the genocide victims in the museum especially those of children, are heartbreaking. What the world can learn from Rwanda’s experience is the progress to forgiveness and reconciliation,”
Jonathan Teeuw, a student at Huron University said.
During this visit, these students and their teachers had an opportunity to get a lecture on memory preservation by the Aegis archive team. Students learnt more about the work of the Genocide Archive of Rwanda, one of the largest digital repository containing evidences about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. This exists to support the continuous process of learning, teaching and understanding of the history of genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
Students and teachers from Huron University appreciated to have learnt about this platform since they believe it can facilitate researchers both local and international to understand more about genocide and how to prevent it.