Saturday, 1 June 2013

Rotarians walk to remember Genocide victims


Members of Rotary Club walk to Kigali Memorial Centre yesterday.
About 100 members of Rotary Clubs of Rwanda yesterday marched from Kigali Public Library in Kacyiru to Kigali Memorial Centre to mark the 19th anniversary of 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

The members of Rwandan clubs that are part of Rotary International toured the memorial, laid wreaths at the memorial site’s graveyard, watched films, and read about the Genocide.

“This moment of commemoration gives us Rotarians of Rwanda and around the world an inquiry to further promote social cohesion and peace in the world through our work to benefit our communities,” the mourners said in a statement read by their representative at the memorial.

Members of Rotary Clubs are mainly business and professional people around the world who work to serve their communities and promote world peace.

The Rwandan family of the clubs said their very principle of promoting peace was threatened during the Genocide and they pledged to continue promoting peace and standing with families of those who survived.

“To the families of our fellow Rotarians and all survivors of the Genocide against the Tutsi, we express our sympathy and our solidarity,” they said in the statement.

The mourners paid special honour to Genocide victims late Fidele Sebulikoko, a former construction engineer and president of Rotary Club Kigali Doyen and late Justin Ngagi who was a member of the same club and an entrepreneur in the tourism industry. 

Special tributes were also paid to those who were killed in the Genocide when they were members of the Rotary Club of Butare. They include the former Governor of Butare, Jean Baptiste Habyarimana, Dr Jean Baptiste Kurawige who worked at Kabutare Hospital, Mathieu Mukama who taught at Groupe Scolaire de Butare, Jerome Ngarambe, and former entrepreneur Deo Nkulikiyimana.

According to the Senate president, Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo, who participated in the remembrance walk, the commemoration remains the right time to think about those who survived it and how to help them.

It also helps to reflect about what happened because it gives a special lesson “to think about humanity and to remember that we are humans in everything that we do,” he said.

Members of Rotary Clubs in Rwanda donated Rwf 500,000 to the Gisozi Genocide Memorial site towards its work to preserve the history of the genocide.

Rotary Clubs in Rwanda are involved in different community service efforts in the country. Members of one of the clubs, the Rotary Club of Kigali-Virunga (RCKV), are initiators of the Kigali Public Library (KPL), the country’s first public library which was opened last year.


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