Rwanda Development Organization (RDO) and Trocaire Rwanda staff members joined Nyagatare District officials and Ibuka to commemorate the victims of 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, at Nyagatare Genocide Memorial.
The special commemoration activity was to mark the 29th Commemoration of Genocide against the Tutsi (Kwibuka29) was organized by RDO and Trocaire as partners and they also visited 21 families of genocide survivors living in Bushoga of Nyagatare Sector and offered them support.
The event commenced with the laying of wreath at the Genocide Memorial organized as part of the ongoing 100 days of Genocide commemoration which started on April 7 and will continue through July 3, 2023.
The commemoration was attended by the Mayor and Vice Mayor of Nyagatare District, Trocaire Country Director, RDO Programs Officer, Ibuka representatives in Nyagatare, Trocaire and RDO staff members as well as genocide survivors from Nyagatare sector.
Stephen Gasana, the Mayor of Nyagatare District applauded RDO and Trocaire for gesture to join them in commemoration and particularly choosing to do it in Nyagatare as well as supporting genocide survivors in the district.
The Mayor underlined that the district is eager to continue its partnership with RDO and Trocaire as stakeholders, who have been involved in developmental activities of the district. He mentioned the recent support in rehabilitation of 21 houses for families of genocide survivors.
RDO in partnership with Trocaire offered support to improve poor living conditions of 21 genocide survivors by rehabilitating their houses that were in a dilapidated state with dripping roofs and faltering walls. The families were also given two goats per household, vegetable seeds with help to plant the kitchen gardens and trained on livestock keeping and nutrition practices.
“Today is what we call a bitter sweet day, its an extremely bitter day for us because we are here today with you to commemorate. And some of us including myself, we will never be able to fully understand what you have survived, what you have lived through, the loss of your loved ones and we will never pretend to understand it,” Marleen Levina Masclee, Trocaire Rwanda Country Director said while meeting with the genocide survivors.
She underlined that, “we have chosen to come here today, to be together with you to commemorate to make sure that the memory of your loved ones will never be forgotten.”
Marleen Masclee saluted the RPA for stopping the genocide against the Tutsi and all those that have played a part in rebuilding the country. She added that what has been achieved as a nation and the hope it holds for tomorrow is the sweet part.
Diana Mugwaneza, RDO Programs Officer urged genocide survivors present at the event to remain strong because they care about them. “We know the history that led to the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, what we can only do now is to ensure that it never happens again.”
Mugwaneza extended appreciation to all those that worked tirelessly to ensure that living conditions of genocide survivors is improved and said that there is hope that more will be done to ensure improved living conditions.
“We only request that we continue to walk the journey together,” she underlined.
The commemoration event concluded with the gifts from the staff members of RDO and Trocaire to the 21 families of genocide survivors. The gifts included some household items like mattresses, beddings and hygiene items.
Ibuka representatives who care for genocide survivors were also given smartphones and solar charging devices to facilitate them in their work while caring and giving support to others.
Jean de Dieu Bimenyimana, President of IBUKA in Nyagatare District thanked RDO, Trocaire and Nyagatare District officials for the support to rehabilitate houses of genocide survivors, giving them livestock and particularly the visit today with more presents that are meant to improve their living conditions.