Stockholm — Rwandans in Sweden and friends convened on Saturday to officially launch fundraising drive for Agaciro Development Fund (AgDF), and pledged USD120, 000 as their contribution to the effort.
Agaciro is a vital component of our relentless fight against poverty as well as our longstanding goal of gradually gaining our financial autonomy
The Rwandan Ambassador to the Nordic countries, Venetia Sebudandi briefed the Rwandans on the origin and significance of the fund and commended the efforts they had already made with their contributions since the fund was created.
"Rwandans have demonstrated an unparalleled ability to create home-grown solutions for the most complex problems," Sebudandi told the gathering of Rwandans from across Sweden.
"Agaciro is a vital component of our relentless fight against poverty as well as our longstanding goal of gradually gaining our financial autonomy," she added.
The president of the Rwandan community in Sweden, James Gatsinzi, echoed the envoy's remarks as he rallied his compatriots.
"The Rwandan community in Nordics has always been at the forefront of contributing to development efforts in Rwanda. We were third worldwide in the One Dollar campaign and there is no reason why we can't even surpass our current pledge for Agaciro," said Gatsinzi.
One Dollar campaign is an initiative started by members of the Diaspora as a way of seeking shelter for orphans of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The initiative was later embraced by Rwandans in the country and a complex worth hundreds of millions is near completion in Kagugu, in Gasabo district, out of the One Dollar proceeds.
The event in Stockholm was organised by the Rwandan community in Sweden in collaboration with the Rwandan Embassy and doubled as a Solidarity and cultural day, featuring Rwandan food, music and dance performed by Rwandan youth troupe Imanzi of Sweden.
Several Rwandan associations in Sweden participated in the event, including the Rwandan Women Association in Sweden (RWAS), the Banyarwanda Cultural Association (BAKUF) and the youth who presented their accomplishments and goals.
Similar events are planned for other cities in Sweden and elsewhere in the Nordic countries.