The School of Public Health honours the Victims of the Genocide against Tutsi

The National University of Rwanda’s School of Public Health (SPH) for the first time since its relocation from Huye to Butare in 2005, honoured the Victims of the Genocide against Tutsi. This was held on Wednesday 10th April 2013 at the School of Public Health premises in Kigali.

Dr. Jeanine CONDO, the Deputy Director of SPH while delivering her welcome speech to the participants in the commemoration event, noted that the school organized this event in order to gather the staff and students as well as friends and neighbours to give respect to the departed and reflect on Genocide in an academic way. Dr. Condo also asserted that though there wasn’t such event in past years it doesn’t mean that staff and students of SPH don’t’ participate in commemoration activities in contrast; they were used to join other Rwandans in their respective residences.
At the occasion of commemorating the Genocide against Tutsi victims at SPH, there were presentations on two themes which are: “Impacts of Genocide in the society” and Management of Genocide impacts to strive for self Reliance”.

The presentation on Impacts of Genocide in the society was delivered by Dr. Laetitia Nyirazinyoye , a lecturer at SPH who explained that the Genocide affected many people either survivors or perpetrators in physical, mental, economic and social ways. She illustrated how killers murdered children in front of their parents and vice versa, amputating people and raping women among other atrocities occurred during the period of Genocide against Tutsi.

The second presentation which was “Management of Genocide impacts to strive for self Reliance” given by Dr Odette Kantengwa, officer of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide(CNLG). Dr. Kantengwa explained that it is not easy to manage consequences of the Genocide against Tutsi seeing its effects in Rwandan society. She said: “It’s not easy for somebody who is presently one person whereas he had seven or eight family members, it’s not easy to manage a situation whereby somebody whose cattle were devoured and houses devastated and presently ranking in poor people category”. However Dr Odette Kantengwa encouraged Rwandans to believe that it is possible to turn hopeless into triumph in case they determine to rebuild their nation despite the shocking history.

The school of Public Health is located in Kicukiro District. On the day of commemoration, the Mayor of this District, Paul Jules Ndamage was among people invited by SPH. In his address, Mayor Ndamage congratulated SPH for their initiative to honour the victims of the Genocide against Tutsi. He also challenged students and staff of SPH to actively take a lead in the development projects to make a difference with what the intellectuals did during the Genocide whereby they took a lead in planning the Genocide.

According to the management of the School of Public Health, the event of commemorating the victims of the Genocide against Tutsi will be completed with the visit scheduled for 10th May 2013 at the Genocide Memorial of Ntarama in Bugesera District. Note that this school also vowed to organize a commemoration event annually.