Students from seven schools working with Christian Action for Reconciliation and Social Assistance (CARSA) organization with their teachers visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial to learn about the history of genocide and how they can participate in peace building.
Talking about the objective of this visit, Paul Bigirimana, the Project Coordinator at CARSA said that they wanted to help students learn more about their history, life before the genocide, the causes of genocide and the post genocide period with a focus on the process of how Rwandans have come together to rebuild and transform Rwanda into a more united and peaceful nation it is today.
Their visit included a tour of the memorial’s exhibits which educate about the history of Rwanda but also give information related to other Genocides happened in the history like the Holocaust. This helped them know that Genocide can happen again and it is everyone’s responsibility to prevent it from occurring again not only in Rwanda but elsewhere in the world.
These students also laid wreaths on the burial place at the memorial, where more than 250 000 victims of the genocide against the Tutsi are laid to rest. They also observed a moment of silence to honor more than one million of innocents killed in the Genocide against the Tutsi.
Donat Niyongana, student at Groupe Scolaire Ruyumba said that he learnt a lesson from the fact that some of the young people participated in the execution of the Genocide instead of using their force to build their nation.
“As a young person, after this visit, I will help my friends to always think critically before acting because this is what others have missed and the result was the Genocide,” said Donat.
Innocent Nsabimana, a teacher at Groupe Scolaire de Mbati said that their visit at the memorial has been an educational experience to understand well the history of genocide from the experienced people in explaining this history.
“Before coming to the memorial we knew basics on the history of genocide but coming to the memorial, see with our eyes what happened in the genocide against the Tutsi and learn how the genocide was prepared, the experience is rich in insights,” said Innocent.
Concluding their visit, Paul Bigirimana urged these young people to be peacebuilders in their schools and communities and always analyse everything before acting because they can face situations where they hear people with genocide ideology. He reminded them that fighting genocide ideology should be a responsibility of everyone.