ASYV Remembers the Genocide Against the Tutsi

Remember, Unite, Renew – Kwibuka24

"It is vital that the students of ASYV understand the historical context within which these atrocities occurred."

This past week, the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village commemorated the 24thanniversary of the Genocide against the Tutsi. This profound event, known asKwibuka, or “remember,” serves as a call to memorialize those who were lost in the genocide, to heal those who survived, and to understand the past as Rwanda moves forward.

The Village's commemoration was preceded by education and reflection on the causes of the genocide, led by our Critical Thinking for P.E.A.C.E. club. On Thursday, May 3rd, the community gathered at the Lily Safra Ampitheater, where ASYV’s Executive Director, JC Nkulikiyimfura, and Village Director, Vincent Kalimba, lit candles with the Light of Hope, to signify the immense hope that Rwandans hold for the future of their country. As the ceremony closed, every student held an ember of hope.

On Friday, May 4th, students and staff members gathered for a moment of silence, followed by a march to mark the genocide, the ASYV Walk to Remember. As the school began walking slowly up the road, pedestrians stopped and passing motorbikes slowed out of respect for the ritual that they were witnessing.

Over the two days of commemoration, students heard from local government leadership; performed songs, poetry, and theater pieces; and gave speeches of their own. Each part of ASYV’s commemoration was imbued with meaning and symbolism, so that every student was able to connect deeply with their fellow Rwandans in honoring the memory of the lives lost 24 years ago.