On 22nd May 2023, a group of students from Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in the US visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial.
The students were taking part in Wharton School’s intensive short course, ‘Conflict, Leadership and Change, Lessons from Rwanda’, which runs a visit to Rwanda annually.
Their visit started with paying respects to the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi, laying a wreath at the burial place where 250,000 victims were laid to rest. A guided tour of the Memorial’s permanent exhibitions followed.
Commenting on the purpose of the visit and what students can learn from this, Katherine J. Klein, Edward H. Bowman Professor of Management at The Wharton School of Business said,
“We come to Rwanda every year and visit Kigali Genocide Memorial with hope that this experience gives to our students some understanding on Rwanda’s history, the origin of the Genocide against the Tutsi, the depth of trauma and Rwanda’s remarkable journey to rebuilding after Genocide.”
In a candid conversation with Aegis’ Chief Executive Director, Freddy Mutanguha, after the touring of memorial exhibitions, students showed interest in learning more on the concept of creating a place that tells a heavy history like that of genocide at the same time as being a place that teaches lessons for the future.
“We intentionally created this as a place where survivors can come and grieve their loved ones and call this place their home,” Freddy said, “but also, it’s for us to tell stories with facts without traumatizing or blaming anyone, for the visitors to come out inspired to prevent any future ideologies that can lead to identity-based violence and genocide.”
Photos of the visit can be viewed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/142016030@N02/albums/72177720308474430