Pictured: Hope lights the way. Club Unity (a peace club started by youth in Rwanda) ends a day of community service, repairing homes of Genocide orphans and widows, with a time of testimony, prayers, songs and a commitment to peace, as part of their 18th Commemoration of the Genocide Against the Tutsi where an estimated 1 million people were killed in a 100-day period (April – July, 1994).
Club Unity was started by youth who attended the first peace camp (Nov. 2010) offered by A Peace of Life in partnership with AEBR Youth. Today anywhere from 100-200 youth meet on Saturdays at the small, local Baptist church in Mubago and they have started a variety of peace-building activities including microcredit. As part of the 18th Commemoration of the Genocide Against the Tutsi, they planned a special day of community service and testimony.
Anthony, one of the Club Unity founders, forwards this account of their commemoration day, held Sat, Apr. 28, from 6 am to 10 pm:
Today, very early in the morning, we went – almost 37 people, most of us youth – to the hill located in our village to dig and transport sand to use to repair houses of Genocide orphans and widows.
After noon, at 14:00, we met in the garden at Mubago Church with many people to have dialogue about our Rwanda history. After this time of sharing, 4 widows of Genocide received the gift of one goat each from our Club. We did this action as a sign to show that we have taken up the challenge to change from our country’s bad history to a new future. We want to treat each person as created in the image of God. Commemoration During the 100 days of Commemoration of the Genocide Against the Tutsi, our Club Unity will collect money to buy three more goats to help three more widows (for a total of 7 to be helped). We will also have a voluntary day of work each month during this time to keep helping the Genocide survivors. We do all these things because we want to look to the future – to go ahead without stopping – to heal the grief of our relatives.
See more photos from Club Unity’s day of commemoration and community service.
Trauma continues to be big issue faced by youth, and people of all ages, in Rwanda. A Peace of Life has arranged to have Anthony continue to receive training in peer-to-peer trauma counselling (graciously offered by Paulette Baraka, one of our volunteer professionals who conducted a trauma and mental health workshop at last year’s peace camp). See more photos.
We are so inspired by the courage and commitment of youth like Anthony and his Club Unity members. We hope you are too! Fundraising is now underway to help more youth like Anthony have an opportunity to attend Peace Camp (the next one is scheduled for the last week in November 2012). Please help us today.