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Rwanda’s 19th genocide commemoration: Peace-building education to be expanded from Kigali Genocide Memorial
The Aegis Trust
7 April 2013
Leading Rwanda’s national commemoration of the 1994 genocide, held today at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, President Kagame laid a wreath at mass graves containing the remains of some 250,000 victims before lighting the flame that will burn in front of the Memorial for the next 100 days – the duration of the slaughter in which approximately one million Tutsis were murdered.

Following the lighting of the flame, President Kagame visited a new ‘Peace room’ at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, where students including the children of survivors and perpetrators take part in peace-building education. There he viewed a mobile exhibition created by the Aegis Trust to take this education programme into Rwanda’s rural communities.
"Remembrance of the genocide is an obligation for every Rwandan. It is also falls on us to teach and pass on that responsibility to the youth so that they, in turn, can pass it on to successive generations," Kagame stated in his speech to mark the day. "Sharing our history, some of which has been tragic, will help us prevent future evil, fight genocide ideology and anything that could take the country back to the bad past we have left behind. It will also help us focus on that which will advance the collective good of Rwandans."
 “Peace-building education at the Kigali Genocide Memorial inspires young people to promote unity in their schools and communities,” says Dr James Smith, Chief Executive of the Aegis Trust, which established the memorial in partnership with the Rwandan authorities in 2004. “In time, we hope the experience of peace education here will offer a model from which other countries too can benefit.”

“Enabling students across Rwanda to have this learning opportunity is vital for the future of our country,” says Freddy Mutanguha, Country Director for Aegis in Rwanda. “Applying lessons from the past to prevent division and violence in the future is perhaps the most important way in which to honour the memory of the communities and loved ones we so tragically lost.”

The peace-building education programme was developed by Aegis in partnership with Rwanda’s Ministry of Education and supported by VSO, the UK’s Department for International Development and the Canadian International Development Agency. (…)


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