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30 Years Since the Rwandan Genocide: A Story of Reconciliation and Hope




The history of Rwanda is one of colonialism, ethnic division, and violence. Rwanda was colonised by Germany in 1897 and then by Belgium in 1917, who favoured the Tutsi minority over the Hutu majority and issued identity cards based on ethnicity. In 1959, a Hutu revolution overthrew the Tutsi monarchy and Rwanda became an independent republic in 1962. Tens of thousands of Tutsis were killed or exiled by Hutu extremists in the following decades. In 1990, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a group of mostly exiled Tutsis, invaded Rwanda from Uganda and fought against the Hutu-led government of President Juvenal Habyarimana. A peace agreement was signed in 1993, but it was shattered when Habyarimana's plane was shot down on April 6, 1994. This sparked a genocide that lasted 100 days and claimed the lives of an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

 





Christian Hope International have been working with the Anglican church to help rebuild lives in Rwanda for the past 30 years. Our mission is to promote reconciliation in communities, ultimately pointing towards the greatest need for reconciliation with God through the Lord Jesus.  By investing in education, and empowering communities to become self-sufficient we also strive to give hope for this life as well as the next. Rwanda has made significant strides, but challenges remain, particularly in rural areas. Poverty and trauma continue to impact many, and access to healthcare and education still requires ongoing support.


We believe that the church should be central to rebuilding lives and communities. That’s why we work tirelessly with local churches to provide access to education, youth development, healthcare as well as supporting agricultural initiatives, livelihood training, and microfinance capital to start small businesses, promoting economic independence. Reconciliation is fostered through the support groups, lead by the local pastor, that go alongside these projects.  Recently we have been supporting prison ministry as those convicted of genocide come to the end of their sentences.


There is much to celebrate in the progress that has been made in Rwanda, but there is still much work to be done. Please continue to pray for Rwanda and the work that Christian Hope International are doing in partnership with the local Christian churches.

 

Rwanda's story is complex and it deserves to be understood from different perspectives. There are many books and films that offer insights into the history, causes, consequences and lessons of the genocide, as well as the personal stories of survivors, perpetrators, witnesses and rescuers. Here are some examples:

 

Books:

 

- We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch. A powerful account of the genocide and its aftermath by a journalist who interviewed survivors, perpetrators and officials.

- Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda by Roméo Dallaire. A memoir by the Canadian general who commanded the UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda and tried to prevent the genocide.

- Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculée Ilibagiza. A testimony of faith and forgiveness by a Tutsi woman who survived the genocide by hiding in a bathroom for 91 days.

- A Sunday in Kigali by Gil Courtemanche. This is a novel based on the author's experience as a journalist in Rwanda during the genocide. It follows the romance between a Canadian reporter and a Rwandan waitress, who witness the unfolding of the genocide and try to survive amid the chaos and violence.

- As We Forgive: Stories of Reconciliation from Rwanda by Catherine Claire Larson. As We Forgive explores the pain, the mystery, and the hope through seven compelling stories of those who have made this journey toward reconciliation. 

  

Films:

 

- Hotel Rwanda (2004). A dramatic feature film about Paul Rusesabagina, a Kigali hotelier who sheltered over a thousand Tutsi and moderate Hutu refugees during the genocide.

- Shooting Dogs (2005). A dramatic feature film about a priest and a teacher who get caught up in the genocide at a school compound where UN troops are stationed.

- Sometimes in April (2005). A dramatic feature film that follows the lives of an intermarried Hutu-Tutsi family before, during and after the genocide.

- Shake Hands with the Devil (2007). A dramatic feature film based on Roméo Dallaire's book.

- Munyurangabo (2007). A dramatic feature film about two young friends, a Hutu and a Tutsi, who embark on a journey of revenge and reconciliation after the genocide.

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1 comentário


Membro desconhecido
02 de abr.

Thanks for sharing and giving us an insight into the historical background to Rwanda, the current progress and the needs.

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