After the school tour we drove down and visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial. I was looking forward to this but also not. I don’t think I wanted to confront or accept the darkness that human beings can sometimes have in the depths of their souls.
An opening video of introduction went through the basics of the timeline and chain of events that began in the early 1900s when Colonial Belgium was entrusted to rule Rwanda as a colony by the League of Nations after WW1.
Way back then Colonial Belgium stereotyped two groups of Rwandans based on their appearance (nose size) among other things and gave special privileges to the Tutsis over the Hutu.
This favouritism was the beginning seeds of tension that began to grow that ultimately led to the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.
The memorial was completely moving but also tragic in the fact of how something so atrocious could actually happen.
1,000,000 people were slaughtered in 90 days. It’s so tragic to see what a human is capable of doing to another.
The depth of this tragedy did not truly connect until the end when I went through a secondary display of all of the genocide tragedies that has happened over the last 200 years even ones as recent as a few years ago.
So how do I apply this experience to my life? I think that I can often stereotype people as well. This has made me re look at some of my thoughts. And have more of a desire to help those people who have been effected by the genocide. The fatherless. The raped. The kids and families trying to rebuild their lives.