As the country continued the 100 days of commemoration, Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) former Caisse Sociale du Rwanda (CSR) rehabilitated 58 houses for survivors of the 1994 against the Tutsi in Kanzenze sector Rubavu district.
As part of the commemoration, RSSB handed over keys to the owners of the rehabilitated houses during the weekend. All the rehabilitation process cost Rwf200 million including two mattresses given to each home.
RSSB injected the money to give a smile and comfort the survivors, some of whom had the walls of their houses broken, without iron sheet roofing, and others were leaking which put them at great risk.
According to RSSB, rehabilitating the houses is the first step in working with survivors and they intend to work with the district to identify other projects in the same line.
The Executive Secretary of Western Province Celestin Pierre Habiyaremye called on the community to start working hard mainly the youth because RSSB had given them a foundation that they need to build on.
“Youth need to be creative by doing different developmental activities like trading among other activities,” he said
He called on those given houses to handle them properly because it is their property.
Damarisi Nyirakayumbu, one of the beneficiaries from Nyamikongi cell said she was given the house in 2000 but it was not clearly finished which made it break every day yet she lacked money for needed repairs.
“My children could fear to bring friends at home because we were almost sleeping outside, I am happy that I am also in a presentable house now, I don’t know how I can appreciate RSSB and the president for that initiative of supporting us and thinking about us,” she said
The staff visited Bigogwe memorial site in Kanzenze sector where the remains of over 8000 people killed in the 1994 genocide are laid. During the visit, the staff was told the history of the former commune of Mutura and Rwerere.
After a paying tribute to victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi at Bigogwe, present RSSB also remembered 19 employees of the former CSR at the headquarters.
The commemoration ceremony held at RSSB headquarters in Kiyovu was attended by families and friends of the deceased RSSB officials, members of the community, and representatives from CNLG and IBUKA among others.
The event started with prayers inside the RSSB hall, before the officials went outside to light the flame of hope as well as laying wreaths on the monument at the entrance of the RSSB headquarters on which the names of the 19 deceased CSR employees are engraved.
Jonathan Gatera, Director General of RSSB said that commemoration is a moment of looking back, thinking about what happened, reconciliation as well as helping those affected by the tragedy.
“The history is there and cannot be reversed. We are here to remember and reconcile as we also make sure we show kindness to the survivors so that they can live better,” he said.
He urged people who go to church to truly practice what they are taught in churches citing an example that by the time of the genocide, up to 90% Rwandans were Christians yet many of them participated in the bloody history of the nation.
He expressed sympathy to the family members of the deceased and assured them that a bright future lies before them.
“Affected families know that you are not alone. Be strong, we are with you. I believe you will reach where your deceased parents did not reach. Rwanda has a good future based on the good leadership and in the time to come, Rwanda will be a country that will act as a model for others,” he said.
Maj. Gen. Jack Nziza urged people to be united and focus on raising efforts to develop the nation, instead of focusing on differences while calling people to unit for a common goal.
“We should be driven by unity in all we do so that we live together in peace and harmony as we work hard for the development of Rwanda,” he said.
The evening also featured commemoration music and survivors’ testimonies from some of the workers of former CSR.