The programme works to increase knowledge and awareness of history of the Genocide against the Tutsi, other genocides around the world, and increase the knowledge on prevention of the spread of stereotypes and ideologies that could result in genocide and other conflicts.
Through this programme, the community members are trained about the history of genocide, facilitation of peaceful dialogues around the history of genocide, stereotypes, labelling, discrimination and genocide ideology.
The programme also empowers community members and youth students on history of Genocide and use of constructive language and non-violent means in solving conflicts preventing Genocide.
– History of the Genocide against the Tutsi | Chronology.
Genocide, is characterised by 8 stages. Genocide against Tutsi started in 1959, in the late years of Belgium colonial rule, when Hutu revolution chased away Tutsi from their properties in many parts of the country. Some were exiled in neighbouring countries like Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Burundi and Kenya, others faced internal deportations in Bugesera, to die bitten by the fly Tsetse.
Since then, Tutsi lived under fear as they were tortured, dehumanised, polarised, across the years. Several massacres have been organised by the then authorities, in different years and places. Tutsi were refused their basic rights. Access to education, business, healt among others were limited. Those who were exiled in 1959 and after, were not allowed to come back. Houses were looted and burned down. Attacks against Tutsi went on year in year out, in different parts of the country for example in Bugesera 1963, 1964, 1966, Gikongoro 1973, Bugesera and Bigogwe 1992, etc…
In 1994, Following the death of President Habyarimana, armed militia begin the systematic rounding up and killing of Tutsi elites. All preparations having been made, all stages of Genocide been gone through, from classification, symbolisation, dehumanisation, and polarisation; the killers having been trained, organised, and prepared, there came extermination. In a 100 days’ period, 1,074,017 people were killed.
– About the Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi.
The Memory of Genocide against Tutsi is kept alive in Memorials. Every year, From April 7th, a commemoration period, known as Icyunamo, is observed in the country, and in Rwanda’s embassies across the world. Icyunamo last for one week at National level, but related activities are carried out in a 100 days’ period, observing 100 days that Genocide against the Tutsi lasted. Commemoration is important to keep the memories of our beloved parents, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends whose lives were perished during the Genocide against the Tutsi. It also serves as a lesson which we learn from our past, so that we can build a better future, free of discrimination, free of Genocide as our mission state: “A World Free of Genocide”.
– Commemoration of families completely wiped out.
Introduction and Background
During the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, an estimated number of 1,074,017 lives of men, women, children, young and old were murdered. Many of them were massacred in churches, offices of former commune, hospitals, on hills and bushes where they were gathered trying to hide, in their homes or thrown into the rivers and lakes. As results of this horrible slaughter many children remained orphans with no parents, some children remained with one parent either father or mother, in some cases some parents were widowed and all their children were killed, in different parts of Rwanda some families to mean husband, his wife and all their children were all exterminated during the genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda.
As a result, and unfortunately, these families left no one to tell their stories. Since 2009 every year GAERG alternatively organise remembering event of these families in different district of Rwanda with a theme: Ntukazime Nararokotse – You will Never be forgotten because I have survived).
GAERG has organized this event in different districts since the start including Ntarama, Bugesera District in Eastern Province Murambi, Nyamagabe District in Southern Province Kiziguro, Gatsibo District in Eastern Province, Kinazi, Nyabihu District in Western Province, Ruhango District in Southern Province and Gisozi in Gasabo District in City of Kigali.
Every year this event is preceded by research of names and any other existing photos, videos or signs of the families that were completely wiped out in the genocide against the Tutsi who were located in the areas of research.
Objectives of remembering families completely wiped out:
The main objective of this event is to give our victims a “name” and voice in their country so that they are not completely forgotten. The specific objectives include among others:
To document and tell the stories of remembrance of families that was completely wiped out during the genocide against the Tutsi.
Promote the preservation of memory of Genocide and eradicate its ideology.
Increase awareness and educate Rwandans mostly youth about 1994 Genocide perpetrated against Tutsi in Rwanda.
The organisation of Remembrance of Families completely wiped out activities
To organise the remembrance of families completely wiped out, GAERG carry different activities both pre-event, event activities and post event activities. In preparatory of remembrance of families that were completely wiped out, GAERG met with local leaders and representatives of IBUKA and AVEGA to engage them in the process of researching names of families whose all members were killed in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, data entry of these names, audio recording of their names as well as documentary film of families identified during the research process.
GAERG also invite different guests and members of local community in selected district to attend the night vigil were different speeches, songs and debates presented in forms of panels.
On D-day, different speakers and facilitators talk about the history of the Genocide against the Tutsi in the region where the commemoration is taking place. The speakers also talk about on the ways of dealing with different consequences of the genocide in post genocide Rwanda as well as discussing on how to prevent its ideology.
Timeline of Remembrance of Families completely wiped out activities
To-date, 7,797 completely perished families composed of 34,823 members have been identified in 17 districts of Rwanda.
For the first time, the completely wiped out families were remembered on 06th June 2009, at Ntarama Genocide Memorial in Bugesera District.
On 22nd May 2010; 682 families composed of 2,812 people from Nyamagabe District were remembered at Murambi Genocide Memorial. View & Download Photos here
On 21st May 2011; 2,839 families composed of 13,371 people from Karongi District were remembered at Bisesero Genocide Memorial. View & Download Photos here.
On 9th June 2012; 2,110 families composed of 8,436 people from Gasabo, Kicukiro and Nyarugenge Districts were remembered at Nyanza Genocide Memorial. View & Download Photos here.
For the 5th time, on 4th May 2013, GAERG members remembered 86 families composed of 366 people from Gatsibo District. View & Download Photos here.
On 24th May 2014; 461 families composed of 1,897 people from Musanze, Rulindo, Gakenke, Gicumbi and Burera districts were remembered in Musanze. View & Download Photos here.
For the 7th time, 16th May 2015, GAERG members remembered 822 families identified in Ruhango, Muhanga and Kamonyi districts in Southern Province. The families were composed of 3,742 people. View & Download Photos here.
On, the 8th commemoration of the Families Completely Wiped out in the Genocide against the Tutsi held at Kigali Genocide Memorial – the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi, a place for remembrance and learning. View & Download Photos here.
The 9th commemoration of the Families Completely Wiped out in the Genocide against the Tutsi held took place in Rubavu District on 27th May 2017, where 886 families whose 4256 members were completely wiped out in Rutsiro, Rubavu and Nyabihu remembered. View & Download Photos here.
– Commemoration Initiatives.