News / Africa

    Rwanda's Youth Looks Forward 20 Years After Genocide

    Rwanda's Youth Looking Forward 20 Years After Genocidei
    X
    Gabe Joselow
    April 03, 2014 3:53 PM
    Nearly a generation has passed since more than 800,000 people were killed in the Rwandan genocide. Now, after years of healing, VOA's Gabe Joselow catches up with young Rwandans in the capital, Kigali, to see how they view the past and their future.
    Gabe Joselow
    Nearly a generation has passed since more than 800,000 people were killed in the Rwandan genocide. Now, after years of healing, young Rwandan remember the past but also hope for a better future.

    Members of a student genocide survivors group walk together to memorialize those who were killed 20 years ago.

    Still in high school, most here are too young to remember the fighting, though their lives were forever changed. Many lost family members, including their parents.

    They come to the Nyanza memorial site to grieve together and to offer support to each other. It's a kind of community service, born out of the tragedy of the past.

    “It is important to come because it is the best way to honor the bodies of our parents, our friends who are buried in these graves," says Fabien Akalikumutima, 20, who leads education programs for the group.

    The site memorializes some 2,000 people who were killed in April 1994, while taking shelter at a nearby school.

    Students say education is key to preventing a repeat of the past.

    “Through telling the truth of what I know and through helping the young children who are growing up, I have to explain to them clearly what happened because there are some people who can explain to them in the wrong way,” said Akalikumutima.

    Hope for the future

    The country still bears the scars of the genocide.  But development is all around - and opportunity beckons a younger generation keen to rebuild the country.

    Christian Kwisinga and Marie Josée Uwayezu this year were accepted to Dartmouth College in the United States, after studying with the Bridge2Rwanda program in Kigali.

    Both are looking forward to a better future for their country.

    “When you are getting an opportunity you think that you have to also give an opportunity to someone else, because you know we are just being one nation, that's the thing,” said Uwayezu.

    “You can find that [after] what has been harmed by the genocide, now we are in a time of reconciliation and peace and I believe that is not something that should affect anyone's thinking about what he wants to do in the future,” said Kwisinga.

    Through memorial and public service, Rwanda's younger generation keeps one eye on the past and another on the future.
     

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora