In the morning we were introduced to a new, but very welcome, member of our group – Alex, our bus driver from Butare who will be accompanying us for the next two weeks on every trip that we will be taking.
We started our day by a Visit to the National Commission for the Fight against the Genocide. We met six staff members, who each deal with different aspects of work conducted by the Commission. The main presentation was made by Ildephonse Karengera (Director of Memory and Prevention of Genocide) and Chairman Jean de Dieu Mucyo took part in the question-and- answer session. Initially our lecture was scheduled to take an hour and a half, but in the end it was extended to twice that time, and even then we wished it could have been longer as there were still lots of questions we wanted to ask!
The discussion centred mostly on the issues of genocide education, commemoration of genocide, the role of genocide survivors in commemoration process, issues relating to history curriculum in Rwanda. As a group, and on an individual basis, we received an open invitation both to set up separate meetings with particular members of the Commission as well as being offered access to the library. This will be especially useful considering the wide range of academic interests within our group.
Our discussions were extremely insightful considering that an hour after our meeting in the Commission we all went for a tour at Kigali Memorial Centre. Some of the themes that we raised during our morning meeting were followed up and some were explored during our individual discussions with people working within different Departments of the In the morning we were introduced to a new, but very welcome, member of our group – Alex, our bus driver from Butare who will be accompanying us for the next two weeks on every trip that we will be taking.
Our second day in Kigali ended with an evening summary and discussion around a fire! Our emotions and thoughts regarding the day naturally varied from individual to individual; but we were all in total agreement that to experience the complexity of the issues facing Rwanda first hand is exceptionally valuable.