The momentum is high as preparations begin for the 23rd commemoration of the genocide against Tutsi which claimed a million lives.
Members of survivors’ organizations AERG and GAERG this Saturday launched various activities to support vulnerable genocide survivors. This will go on for the whole month of March.
Activities kicked off in Nyaruguru district in Southern Rwanda, a two and a half hours’ drive from the capital Kigali.
Members of AERG/GAERG kick-started support activities in Mata sector, Gorwe cell including; building houses, establishing kitchen gardens and offering cattle to the needy survivors.
“Giving back to the country through government programs is our choice as strong, young and grateful people,” said Olivier Mazimpaka, the president of GAERG.
In Mata sector, Gorwe Cell they have built two houses, set up 6 kitchen- gardens and gave out two cows ; one to a rescuer and another to a survivor.
According to AERG/GAERG agenda, they will work with local communities to set up 135 kitchen gardens and clean 41 genocide memorials across the country.
In addition, they will also give wheelchairs to disabled former Rwanda Patriotic Army soldiers that were engaged in the liberation war and stopped the Genocide against the Tutsi.
“We survived through the outstanding courage of RPA soldiers and other Rwandans that sacrificed their lives, we are grateful and now giving back to community because we survived,” said Emma Twahirwa.
Among other activities that will be carried out this year include building 11 houses, rehabilitating 15 houses and offering 11 cows to survivors.
These activities will continue up to April 1st under the theme ‘We celebrate survivors’ lives and thank those who rescued us’.
On Saturday, 18th March 2017, AERG/GAERG-Week activities will be conducted in Rubavu district, 25th March activities will be conducted in Ruhango district, and on 26th March activities will be conducted in Kicukiro district.
The last AERG/GAERG Week activities for this year will be conducted on Saturday 1st April in Nyagatare district.
Since 2015, members of AERG/GAERG have given 21 cows, cleaned 65 memorial sites, set up 217 kitchen gardens for homes which did not have them, built 17 new houses & renovated 12 others.
AERG is an association of student survivors of genocide with over 43,000 members.