The Aegis Trust’s peace-building work in the Central African Republic (CAR) is already helping to change hearts and minds in communities on the fault line of the conflict there, as our education specialists – many of them survivors of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide against the Tutsi – share their own experiences and work with Central African colleagues to develop a CAR-specific peace-building education programme.
Lambert Kanamugire, a member of Aegis’ education team working in the Central African Republic, has offered a brief insight on camera in Kigali, Rwanda, ahead of his return to CAR later this week. Captured in the short video above, here’s what he had to say:
“My name is Lambert Kanamugire. I am Rwandan. I work for the Aegis Trust as an education specialist. My work consists in restoring social cohesion in Central African Republic through peace education.”
How can Central African Republic citizens rebuild peace despite the serious consequences they faced after violence? “As a survivor [of the genocide against the Tutsi], I suffered, and I don’t want that what I faced, what I saw, can happen to the future generations.”
“My experience can help them say, “Even if we suffered, someone else from Rwanda suffered the same. So we can rebuild, we can overcome. It is, for me, another kind of healing, to help rebuild peace in a country which is ravaged by violence.”
“The most memorable moment – we organised a workshop and invited 26 chiefs of different villages. At the end, one of the chiefs, on his way going home, he met a person who made him suffer [in the crisis], who robbed his properties, who also beat him.
“After seeing the man, the chief of that village said, “It would be the end of your life, I would have committed revenge, I would have killed you, if I hadn’t yet attended the peace education workshop that I attended today. So please feel safe, I’m not going to kill you, but I invite you to come and attend the second day of the workshop”.
“So that testimony shows how our programming can help people realise their fellow citizens were not born evil; they can change. So, what is to come will be very productive.”
Aegis Trust manages the Kigali Genocide Memorial on behalf of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide.