I and twenty East-African young participants from Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, Burundi, DRC, Uganda, Sudan and Rwanda were hosted by Never Again Rwanda for two weeks.
It was my first time to Rwanda, the country of the genocide and victims in my childhood memory. Genocide against the Tutsi is a big dark spot on the face of the international community!
Rwanda witnessed one of the most horrible crimes in the twentieth century with very late and meaningless support from the international community. This country had lost almost everything by 1994, they lost people lives and moreover lost the trust in each other and in the international community. The reality was a big trauma, but they – together – decided not to let that happens again.. and (not surprisingly) they have succeeded.
Rwanda’s experience taught us that it’s never too late to start from zero; it has taught us that peoples’ willingness can change the darkness into a brightening morning. They planned for a better future and worked for it. They invented new methodologies and led initiatives to reconcile their traumatized and damaged community. They worked to stop discrimination / stereotyping and share mutual national identity, for justice, psychological support, income generation and poverty eradication; they worked for peace and security as a right for every Rwandan woman and man.
I graduated from the Peace Building Institute as a ‘Young African Peace Ambassador’. Rwanda gave us this honor, hope and responsibility to promote and build peace in our homes and in every African country. My unique colleagues got the time to interact, realize major facts and collectively answer some key questions such as; Where are we and why? How similar are we and how diversified? What do we lack and need?.
We agreed that we need peace to go forward, peace for stability and productivity. We need national identities, love, trust, justice, transparency, dedication, and we strongly need to be involved as youth and to work for our people’s future. It is time to be heard. Africa we are coming!