October 1st 1990; a group of young, brave, audacious and patriotic individuals starts a journey of liberation of their beloved country. They March fearlessly without looking back, leaving behind their families, loved ones and youthful life, with only one mission in mind; restoring unity among Rwandans, at all cost!
July 4th 1994, after 4 years of fighting, falling but not backing up, and enduring heavy blows, the Rwanda Patriotic Army puts an end to the Genocide against the Tutsi. The cost was high, the pain indescribable, the heartache for lost family, friends, and comrades unforgettable!
But the reward for all of that was; not only a country freed from its darkest hour in history but also a country finally unchained from misleaders, providing an opportunity to rebuild a nation of equal rights and opportunities.
Today, 26 years after the liberation struggle, we live in a free, safe and glorious country, with one of the fastest economic growth in the world, education for all, youth and women empowerment, and exemplary leadership. We are forever indebted to those who sacrificed their lives fighting for our freedom.
But we can’t afford to lay back and be unsighted by the fact that we now live in a serene country. Instead, we [the youth] have a duty to contribute to our country’s journey towards sustainable peace and development.
As the youth makes up the largest portion of the Rwandan population; we’re the present and the future of our country, it is therefore imperative that we safeguard and help consolidate the gains our nation achieved over the last 26 years, while also carrying on the fight of developing this country by enhancing our critical thinking and contributing our efforts in fighting wicked practices like genocide ideology, corruption, nepotism, drug abuse and teen pregnancies so as to build a brighter future for our children and grandchildren.
The youth is the present and the future of our country. Now that we live in a serene country, we can’t lay back but instead have a duty to contribute to our country’s journey towards sustainable peace and development. We should also enhance our critical thinking and contribute in fighting wicked practices and always strive to build the Rwanda we want on the fundamentals of unity and togetherness.
History shows that the youth was exploited and manipulated which led them to getting actively engaged in the massacres and the genocide against the Tutsi. But with determination and sacrifice we can now reciprocate that energy in protecting our country and by reinforcing our ties as Rwandans, so that the Rwanda we want can be built on the fundamentals of unity and togetherness, as the saying goes,“UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL!”.
So I urge every Rwandan citizen; especially the youth, to put all our efforts together and thrust the country of a thousand hills to far greater heights.
This piece was written by the Executive director of Rwanda we want organization, Colbert Rulinda who is also a student at the University of Rwanda.