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Contribute Positively To Nation Building- Pastor Rick Warren To Rwandan Diaspora

by Daniel Sabiiti
2:51 pm

Pastor Rick Warrens stressing the vital role of diaspora in nation building

Retired American Pastor Rick Warren has tipped young members of the Rwandan Diaspora on four practical ways they can stay relevant and support their country to develop from a distance.

A United States census of 2020 estimates that the Rwandan diaspora population in the United States stood at 11,325, and 7,000 of them as Rwandan-born residents.

Official national statistics indicate that 47,357 Rwandans live in the four focal countries in Europe. This sizable number corresponds to 13.7 per cent of the global Rwandan migration stock.

Belgium hosts most Rwandans abroad, followed by the United Kingdom; the Netherlands and Germany host smaller numbers.

Addressing, Rwandans gathered on February 3, at the Rwanda Day 2024 in held Washington D.C; Pastor Warren said that he has for 30 years witnessed Rwanda’s growth to become the greatest success story of any nation in the 21st century.

Rwanda Day 2024 was held this year with a focus on leveraging the opportunities between Rwandans and the US diaspora to invest in Rwanda and go beyond the $470million sent back home in remittances.

Having been privileged to witness Rwanda’s transformation coming out of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi to become one of the fastest growing economies, Warren said Rwandan Diaspora can support the continuation of this journey while living abroad.

Warren said that it crucial that, no matter where Rwanda diaspora are, they have a crucial part to contribute positively to their homeland.

Pastor Rick Warren suggested four points to note

One way, he said is in education and sharing skills with Rwandans back home.

“First thing that I urge you to do is, to take advantage of all the education opportunities that are available here in America,” Warren said.

He explaining that education is a powerful tool that can be used to bring about positive change, by acquiring skills and all kinds of knowledge in the U.S, Rwandans can transfer it back home.

Through mentorship, Warren said that while Rwandans are in the US, they should start engaging others back home now through mentorship programs without waiting to return home to do so.

For instance, leveraging on the presence of the internet and communication applications available, Warren said Rwanda diaspora can do online teaching, organize virtual workshops to share expertise with young Rwandans back in Rwanda.

“Education is the key to unlocking a brighter future for your nation,” Warren said.

“Education is the key to unlocking a brighter future for your nation,” Warren said, as a long-time friend of Rwanda and advisor to the President.

Second lesson, Warren said that through fostering entrepreneurship and investments, diaspora can support their country from a distance.

“As a Rwandan expatriate living outside the country, you are in a unique position to connect both Rwandans and Americans in business ventures together,” Warren said.

He explained that through such ventures, and partnerships the diaspora will help create jobs, stimulate the economy, growth, and transform lives.

Rwanda Diaspora who need to forge partnerships, share information and contacts about their country

Warren said that the key sectors to focus on in the suggested partnerships, information and contacts sharing should include; tourism, technology, agriculture, health that can be useful in Rwanda.

The third area, Warren said is to remember to give back to the community back home through acts of philanthropy, social and corporate initiatives to directly impact on the lives of people in need at home.

For instance, the preacher suggested that diaspora can support local charities and sponsor educational programs from afar, but also can contribute to health care and infrastructure development.

“By leveraging your resources and networks here (in the U.S), you can be making meaningful and lasting difference in the lives of people, fellow Rwandans living in the nation right now,” Warren urged.

Diaspora children perform a Rwandan cultural dance before President Paul Kagame (middle).

Warren also said that the four thing is for Rwandans to have preservation of their culture heritage as key binding factor for Rwanda diaspora and their nation.

He suggested that this can be done through hosting regular Rwanda day meetings at different levels of community, cultural exchanges and festivals among other activities.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, over 30,000 Rwandans have attended “Rwanda Day” since its establishment 11 years ago, as a national annual reunion for the Rwanda Diaspora Global Network (RDGN) and Rwandans at home.

Rwandans at Rwanda Day 2024 in Washington DC

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