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Genocide Survivor Gets a Cow, Calls Her a ‘Neighbor’

by Williams Buningwire
12:49 pm

BK officials handing over the cows to beneficiaries in Gitesi sector, Karongi district

The Bank of Kigali has put a smile on 15 families of genocide survivors in Gitesi sector, Karongi district as part of Kwibuka24 where the country pays tribute to more than a million victims of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi and supports vulnerable survivors

BK, one of the leading commercial banks of Rwanda gave 15 cows to families of genocide survivors on Friday.

In the Rwandan culture, giving someone a cow testifies unique love and represents the wish for prosperity and a cow stands for both.

After killing the Tutsi, the interahamwe would rush to their farms to slaughter their cattle mercilessly.

In the wake of the genocide, survivors found no livestock left while the country largely depends on agriculture. Without manure, it became hard for them, and without milk for their children, life became hard.

“The gift you have handed to me today is not just a cow; I consider her as my neighbour,” said Esther Nyirangamije, one of the beneficiaries.

Nyirangamije was speaking from her hearts and you would not understand what she meant until you heard her testimony. In fact, the genocide devastated her.

She lost her husband and five children during the genocide. The family had 15 cows and plenty of milk through the year.

“I could not have milk as I wish for so many years. You have relieved me,” she said with emotions.

For BK CEO, Dr. Diane Karusisi, “our gesture today intends to remind you that we are there, and we really care because we are concerned with your situation after the Genocide.”

“May you not be hostage of the dark past but strive to develop. That’s our message for you today.”

Former staff of BK who were victims of Genocide against Tutsi

Meanwhile, BK community was also affected by the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi. 15 staff were massacred during the Genocide.

Straight from Gitesi, Karusisi and all the staff headed to BK headquarters for a night vigil to remember the victims.