The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Women Activists Mourn Inyumba

YESTERDAY morning will go down as a dark Thursday in the history of the Women movement in Rwanda. The women fraternity is yet to come to terms with the demise of Honourable Aloysia Inyumba, a dedicated patriot who fought for the rights of women and children.

She was the founding member of several women Associations and Organisations in Rwanda.

Speaking to The New Times, Alphonsine Mukamugema, the President of the Forum of Rwandan Women Parliamentarians (FFRP), said that the country has lost a heroine.

"Besides advocating for the rights of Rwandans, especially women and children, the Late Inyumba loved and respected everyone. We have lost a mother, sister and a friend. As women parliamentarians who had the chance to work with her, we learnt a lot of things from her. All we can say is that she has gone too soon," Mukamugema solemnly said.

Although most of the women would hardly speak amidst tearful moments during the interview, they all desribed the late 48-year-old Inyumba is Rwanda's Heroine.

Chantal Kabasinga, President of Avega Agahozo Association, said it's so sad that they have lost their founder member.

"The association of widows and orphans of Genocide survivors has lost a loving parent. She was a founding member of the association and has been working with us at all times. Her death has left a big gap. We can't find words to express what we are going through at the moment," Kabasinga mourned.

The media fraternity will remember the Late Inyumba's constant reminder of women journalists that they are the voice to the voiceless. In March 2012, during the general assembly of Rwanda Female Journalists Association (ARFEM) she said, "Every woman in this nation has an untold story but they need a voice to speak on their behalf. Female journalists should, therefore, take up their role and maximise their opportunity by raising issues that can help empower women."

Faith Mbabazi, the chairperson of ARFEM, said that the Late Inyumba was one of the core founders of ARFEM in 1995.

"We need to celebrate her life because she has been a very humble and committed public servant. She has always been there for ARFEM and she instilled in us the traits of being caring and selfless. We will dearly miss her," Mbabazi sadly said.

Some of the other women organisations she was involved with Pro-Femme Twese Hamwe, the National Women Council, Women for Women International, Rwanda Chapter and others.

As a natural mother for all, during the 2012 Universal Peace Federation and Women's Federation for World Peace conference that was held in Canada, the late Aloysia Inyumba highlighted the rebuilding of Rwanda, beginning with placing 300,000 children in families under the slogan "Every child needs a home.' she was quoted as saying: "I am here to share the experience of Rwanda and the lessons we can learn as global citizens about how to restore family and society."

Aloysia Inyumba won the 2012 'Women have Wings Courage Award' which is awarded annually to outstanding women from around the world.

Her legacy lives on!

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