From 7th April 2022 Rwanda is commemorating for the 28th the genocide against Tutsi, the most tragic event for human being that left over one million ethnic Tutsi killed only in 100 days in 1994.
Each year, ActionAid Rwanda (AAR) engages in commemoration activities following government directives put in place. AAR Family (then Aide et Action) was not spared during the 1994 genocide because 12 staff members were deprived of their life for no other reason but their ethnic belonging. ActionAid remembers them annually and most importantly meet with the families they left for consolation.
In this year’s commemoration, ActionAid supported 5 family members of former employees of Aide et Action that were killed during genocide against Tutsi with financial support, the event that was preceded by a visit to Kigali Memorial site in Gisozi and series of dialogues to raise awareness on genocide against Tutsi and the post genocide reconstruction that took place at ActionAid Rwanda’s office.
Speaking at the event, Josephine Irene Uwamariya, Country Director of ActionAid Rwanda called on everyone to play role in improving the lives of genocide survivors.
"Supporting people in need is rooted from Rwandan culture and so is to support genocide survivors. Genocide survivors are heartbroken and financially suffering. This act of supporting them was a demonstration that we should be close to them and also advocate for them so that those who have the ability and the will to support genocide survivors can understand that they are out there and need our support.” Said Josephine.
“We lived under persecution, we never lived in peace that even finding a job for Tutsi was like a miracle. At the working place we were like siblings. Since 1990, we have been so persecuted that some of our colleagues were imprisoned accused of complicity and collaboration with outsiders who wanted to invade the country. We were persecuted until the foreigner who was leading ActionAid (the then Aide et Action) would pick us from home and drive us back at the end of work, we were not safe. But this did not discourage us, we continued our work under persecution, we continued to build schools, we continued to empower them.” Said Emma Marie Therese Uwayirege who was working for Aide et Action during genocide against Tutsi.
During the commemoration, Jean Damascene Kalinda, the commissioner in charge of legal affairs in Ibuka, the umbrella body of genocide survivors’ organisations highlighted the steps of preparation of genocide and called on everyone to fight against genocide denial calling it ‘a battle that needs regular and consistent fight’.
The 28th Commemoration at ActionAid Rwanda was attended by different Officials from the government including Chief Gender Monitor from Gender Monitoring Office Rose Rwabuhihi who was the guest of honour, ActionAid Rwanda board and Assembly members, ActionAid partners, families of former staff of ActionAid Rwanda (Aide et Action) who were killed during genocide against Tutsi and AAR staff.