6 October 2017

Rwanda: Students in New Drive to Fight Genocide Ideology in Schools

Photo: The New times
Mourners view names of people who were killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that are laid at Rebero Memorial site while marking the end of the commemoration (file photo).

Students from the University of Rwanda have formed an association called Imbonizarwo through which they intend to marshal efforts to uproot the genocide ideology in all its manifestations.

Under the banner, "Youth strive to be the role models in fighting against genocide ideology," the initiative seeks to eradicate genocide ideology through sharing testimonies that can inspire students or youth across the country to keep fighting the vice in their communities.

The programme seeks to engage at least 35,000 students at different institutions of higher learning countrywide.

Addressing the students at the launch of the initiative at IPRC-Kigali, Wednesday, Dr Jean Damascene Bizimana, the executive secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), said youth, who make up the biggest percentage of the population, should carefully study the history of the country so they can learn the root causes of the Genocide and its ideology in order to effectively fight it.

"This is a very good programme that comes to contribute toward the fight against genocide ideology by reaching the youth in schools and a good way to correct the country's past mistakes with initiatives that inspire the youth in building a future free of genocide ideology," he said.

Bizimana said education is the most effective channel through which students can learn the country's past before stepping in to help educate communities on how to prepare a bright future for the new generations.

According to Bizimana, it is time everyone played their role in promoting positive social values that every Rwandan can feel proud of.

He challenged the youth to visit Genocide memorial sites, saying this will help them learn about the country's tragic history and realise that future they truly need to build.

The association events are usually organised in an interactive manner and include participating in peace building activities, sharing experiences and discussing ways to fully remove any instances that may involve genocide ideology as well as participating in peace building activities.

Jean Pierre Kwizera, the chairperson of Imbonizarwo, said every effort is needed to fight genocide ideology not only at schools but also in communities.

"Fighting genocide ideology is a process and we believe schools can be an efficient base to enforce peacebuilding," he said.

Valerie Mukeshimana, 20, a student from GS Kicukiro, said the initiative will help youth promote peace, unity and reconciliation in communities.

The initiative started with secondary schools where the students carried out countrywide outreach campaigns to engage the youth on their role in fighting genocide ideology.

After high school, the students will take the campaign to University of Rwanda's campuses while they also plan to reach students in private universities.


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