Rwanda was driven to scandal of genocide against Tutsis of 1994 by the fault of colonizers which divided the Rwandan society in what they called ethnic groups.
After genocide, Rwandans had to find solutions to how the divided society should come back to be one Rwandan society as it used to be before colonization by Belgium. The program ‘Ndi Umunyarwanda’ was then created as a tool to unity and reconciliation.
“After genocide and Gacaca courts, genocide survivors were forces by the circumstances to live in the same neighorhood with the ones who massacred their families after finishing their punishments. We ran the risk of revenge.” said Jean Baptiste Bizimana, the Coordinator of AMI (Association Modeste et Innocent)
According to Mr. Bizimana, the challenge was to bring people on the community level to live together not by resignation but by conviction that it’s the right thing.
The ‘Ndi Umunyarwanda’ means that Rwandans are one people, with one nation, one culture and one language; it’s the unity and the identity of Rwandans.
‘Ndi Umunyarwanda’ a secured and fruitful way of life for future Rwandans.
All Rwandans are by nature joyful to be called so. For them, being a Rwandan transcends being a Hutu, Tutsi, or Twa.
Floribert Rugambage is a S4 student at (GSOB) ‘Groupe Scolaire official de Butare’.
He said “I no longer see my colleagues as Hutus or Tutsis, I see them as Rwandans. In this way, we can work together to build our country to a prosperous one.”
As Rhona Nantaba Mukasa at GSOB said “Rwanda is my nation and Rwandan is my identity. Whoever has the same identity as mine are brothers and sisters to me, our vision must be the same and the development of our Rwanda is a priority.”
‘Ndi Umunyarwanda’ one of surprise to Belgians
“The most impressive about the post Genocide era is the concept of reconciliation” said Philippe Renette, a Belgian professor who recently visited Rwanda.
“We have talked with students and teachers; we see that for them to be united, to have the same goal, the same vision of the future is something more important. It is not very easy to understand how one can forgive and move forward so quickly , that’s why it was important for us to be here, to meet students and teachers, to see how their commitment is really full and total, so a better future is therefore assured.” added Renette
Jean Damascene Nyirinkwaya who teaches history and citizenship at GSOB,wishes that Belgian teachers should insist on teaching their teen students about genocide against Tutsis.
According to YannLelangue, the instructor of RCN Justice et Démocratie Belgium and head of delegation, ‘Ndi Umunyarwanda’ must serve of lesson to Belgium the colonizing power of Rwanda.
He said that this should be done because of Belgium still has an ethnically divided nation.
This is a letter from Francine Andrew Mukase