The youth in Rwanda, the region and across the World, are organizing “Walks to Remember”, those who lost their lives in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
In Kigali, the youth from the East African Community, over the weekend, participated in the Walk, where they were joined by thousands of Rwandans and friends of Rwanda, to pay tribute to the more than one million Tutsi who were killed during the Genocide.
The event was held under the theme” Uniting the International Community and Empowering the Youth to Take Action against Genocide and Mass Atrocities Worldwide”.
Empowering the youth to take action requires teaching them about Genocide.
This is still a very new concept and without doubt, a challenging topic.
However, it is important to learn about the Genocide, because, informing people about it, especially future generations, is one way of preventing it from occurring again.
The Ministry of Education in partnership with stake holders in the fight against Genocide, should develop training seminars and instructional materials for teachers, to guide them on how to talk to teenagers about the Genocide.
It is important to note that the youth would be in position to understand the Genocide because collective violence has to do with identity, stereotyping and group membership – issues that the youth struggle to deal with.
After the youth get a clear understanding of what happened in Rwanda in 1994, it will be easier for them to identify actions they can take – both as individuals and as groups – to build on the Government’s reconciliatory efforts and to ensure that Genocide does not happen again.
Through these lessons, the youth will learn about the need to take responsibility for such crimes and to speak out for those with no voice. They need to understand that they do not have to be president or a hero to prevent violence. Each individual has a role to play, and collectively, it makes a big difference.