The Kigali Genocide Memorial has hosted a group of high school students from Trinity Grammar in Australia as part of the memorial’s new Remembrance and Learning Tour Programme. Run by the memorial in partnership with the Aegis Trust, the tours give people around the world the opportunity to visit Rwanda and discover the nation’s history, the causes and consequences of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi and post-genocide rebuilding efforts.
The group of 15 students and three teachers came to Rwanda to learn more about the Genocide and be inspired by Rwanda’s story of renewal. The tour lasted three days during which the students and teachers visited four of the country’s genocide memorial sites – Nyanza, Ntarama, Nyamata and Kigali Genocide Memorial.
During the tour, the students were led by the Kigali Genocide Memorial Head Guide, Serge Rwigamba. As a survivor of the Genocide, Serge gave the group an insight into his personal story and that of others who survived. He explained that the Genocide was a long planned attempt to eliminate Tutsi and that more than one million Rwandans were killed from April to July in 1994.
In addition, the students had the opportunity to meet and discuss with Rwandans and share experiences and understanding about reconciliation, forgiveness and community building.
On 8 April, the group met three young Rwandan entrepreneurs – Malik Shaffy, Marc Gwamaka and Sonia Mugabo. These inspiring young people shared their experiences and talked about how they created businesses and nonprofit organisations by finding their passions.
When asked about their vision for Rwanda, Marc responded:
“I want Rwanda to be like a well, where people from around the world come, not to draw water but lessons from our past and inspiration for the future. We have so much to share and teach others.”
The Kigali Genocide Memorial Remembrance and Learning Tours are open to individuals and groups interested in touring Rwanda and finding out more about the country’s past and present.
“We are so grateful for the amazing work of the Aegis Trust, in remembering the terrible history, honouring those who have lost their lives, caring for survivors. their families, building peace and educating future Rwandans and telling your story to us and the world so that this never happens again. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. It has been a privilege to spend time with you.” Rev’d Matt Campbell
“To the survivors of the terrifyingly scary genocide, I would like to let you know that your stories of heartbreak will never be forgotten and will affect my perspective on life in a positive and thankful way. This is because your example of acceptance and strength in overcoming evil and revenge.” – Elliot Brandon-Jones
“Thank you so much for informing me on the history of Rwanda. You have inspired me and I will never forget what I’ve seen. You are doing an amazing job and I wish you well.” – Helder
“It was very interesting to learn about the genocide at the Kigali Genocide Memorial. I was particularly moved by the children’s section of the museum and how it not only gave information about the child but it also included the way the child was killed.” – Previn Pereira