5 July 2018

Rwanda: Over 500 Youth From Diaspora Begin Civic Education Programme

567 young Rwandans pursuing their studies from some 19 countries from Asia, Europe, America and Africa on Wednesday started a civic education programme (Itorero) that will last one month.

The group under the Indagamirwa series also includes best performers from the recently concluded Itorero for Advanced Level graduates.

The eleventh edition of Indangamirwa was launched by defence Minister James Kabarebe on Liberation Day July 4, at Gabiro Combat Training Centre in Gatsibo District.

Kabarebe shared the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF - Inkotanyi) experience during the liberation struggle, following by many Rwandans as refugees while misrule and underdevelopment thrived in the country.

"We had been refugees for too long and it seemed there was no alternative but to take up arms and fight for our rights," he started.

He added that even when they were barred from the country, as refugees, they were very concerned about the underdevelopment of the country and, "the country needed serious change to restore it altogether".

Kabarebe called upon the youth to cherish their culture as "the bond that make things possible in Rwanda".

"Without culture, we cannot move our country forward; our culture is our identity," he told the attentive youth.

The minister gave examples of past regimes that did not value the Rwandan culture to the extent of imposing ethnic divisions on Rwandans.

"The post-colonial governments aligned themselves as agents of colonialism because they worked to tear down our culture and our identity," he said.

Laica Kwizera, who pursues her studies in the United States, said this was an opportunity she would not put to waste, saying it was the right opportunity to learn about the country's aspirations and understand her role in realizing them.

"Today's lesson on the liberation struggle has made me explore more of who I am and how to behave before my fellow Rwandans and other people" she said.

Frank Gashagaza who studies from Uganda said he was fascinated by the patriotism exhibited by the young Rwandans who conceptualized and implemented to the end the liberation struggle.

"I feel totally challenged to do more for my country since the youth of that time, who had no phones or even internet managed to communicate and mobilised thousands of their colleagues for a common goal of liberating our country," he said.

TheIndangamirwa civic education programme for Rwandan youths from Diaspora started in 2008 and has so far benefitted 3,168 young Rwandans.

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