On Saturday 7 May, 75 members of the Association of Student Survivors of the Genocide (AERG) Igihozo Cyindatwa from Groupe Scolaire Saint Joseph, visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial to remember their families and loved ones that were killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. The group also took the opportunity to tour the Memorial and learn more about the history of the Genocide and fighting Genocide Ideology.
AERG is an association that supports students who survived the 1994 Genocide and lost families and friends by joining different survivors and making them a family. The Groupe Scolaire Saint Joseph is a secondary school situated in the Muhanga District, Southern province. It has a few AERG students currently attending the school who are also members of a student survivor group in the region that falls under AERG, called Igihozo Cyindatwa.
The group of 75 started their visit by touring the memorial’s exhibitions to learn more about the history and causes of the 1994 Genocide. They then concluded their visit by laying wreaths on the mass graves which are the final resting place for over 250,000 victims of the Genocide.
Also with the group was Dieudonne Nagirwubuntu, founder and head of Rich Heart; a family he created with other Genocide survivors and graduates of Saint Joseph Kabgayi. He was joined by his two young brothers.
“We wanted to support AERG Igihozo Cyindatwa at this special visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial. Our support consists of sharing genocide history with them as some of them were not alive during genocide, and joining them to give respect to the Genocide victims. Let’s join our hands in developing our country and building a bright future”. Dieudonne Nagirwubuntu,AERG Igihozo Cyindatwa
“As AERG members, we took this time to pay respect to our loved ones who lost their lives in Genocide. We thank our school G.S. Saint Joseph for helping us. Our message after this visit is that we have to learn from our past in order to prepare a good future free of genocide and discrimination”. Fabrice Cyusa Jabo, Coordinator, AERG Igihozo Cyindatwa
“I am a third-year student, and I am only 14 years old. I came to visit the memorial site today as a member of AERG. I was excited to learn about genocide history as I was born after the genocide. What happened in genocide was terrible, and should not happen again”. Hygette Gatare, AERG Igihozo Cyindatwa