26 July: Liberation Day celebration in The Hague in the Netherlands
Liberation Day was celebrated at Partycentrum Zichtenburg in The Hague, where Ambassador Jean Pierre Karabaranga, his spouse and the Embassy team welcomed almost 200 members of the Rwandan Diaspora in the Netherlands.
On the occasion of the 20th celebration of the Rwandan Liberation Day and the 52nd anniversary of the Rwandan Independence, His Excellency Mr. Jean Pierre Karabaranga, Ambassador of Rwanda, hosted a reception at the Carlton Ambassador Hotel. In his remarks the Ambassador touched on the dark history of his country, mentioning the one million people who had died during the genocide, while the international community looked the other way. However, Ambassador Karabaranga was also proud of the achievements his country has made since its liberation, saying that his country has gone from a dark past to a bright future, adding that Rwanda today is a country of peace, prosperity and self-reliance. Ambassador Jean Pierre Karabaranga attributed the success of these achievements to three secrets of success: Staying together, being accountable and thinking big. The Ambassador also praised the visionary leadership of President Paul Kagame of Rwanda. Ambassador Karabaranga concluded by saying: “God bless the friends of Rwanda.”
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4 July: Liberation Day celebration in The Hague in the Netherlands
Liberation Day was celebrated at the Carlton Ambassador Hotel in The Hague, where Ambassador Jean Pierre Karabaranga held a speech. Some highlights of his speech:
„While today we celebrate our Independence, the liberation of Rwanda, the end of Genocide by Rwandans and of course our achievements and progress gained, we also pose to look at the journey done since 20 years and look to the future with hope, optimism and a renewed commitment to Agaciro (dignity), self reliance and shared human values. It is an opportunity to share this story and learn about Rwanda’s vision for a peaceful, prosperous and self-reliant nation.”
„We are honoured by your presence here to celebrate with us THIS journey from a dark past to a brighter future. A journey of socio-economic transformation, which turned what was a failed state two decades ago into a model of a successful post-conflict reconstruction.
The secret behind our success story can be found in these three decisions that we took and that made us to be where we are today:
1.We decided to stay together
2.We decided to be accountable
3.We decided to think big”
„But the most important for us in that we were and are lucky to have a visionary leadership under President Paul KAGAME and the Government of Unity and Reconciliation.
The achievements we celebrate were achieved together with a sense of resilience, sacrifices and strong discipline and commitment.
We want to continue and even accelerate the process that started 20 years ago and we invite our friends and partners to stay with us in that new journey to PROSPERITY.”
This year is an important milestone in Rwanda’s history. The twentieth commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi has seen Rwandans and friends from around the world come together to remember, unite and renew. Telling the world about the causes, reality and consequences of the genocide was at the core of Kwibuka20. The genocide was stopped by the Rwandan Patriotic Front, and on 4 July 2014, Rwanda will mark twenty years since liberation (Kwibohora20), honour those who fought in struggle for freedom and dignity in Rwanda and look to the future with hope, optimism and a renewed commitment to Agaciro (dignity), self reliance and shared human values.
In the aftermath of the genocide, Rwandans made three important choices – to stay together, to be accountable and to think big. These decisions have been at the core of the country’s ongoing renewal and efforts to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges. Kwibohora20 is an opportunity to share this story and learn about Rwanda’s vision for a peaceful, prosperous and self-reliant nation.
To mark Kwibohora20, a series of activities will take place across Rwanda and around the world. These events will begin in the month of June and continue until December. A number of socio-economic development projects will be led by the Rwanda Defence Forces and the Rwanda National Police, including the building of 36 health posts in 15 districts. In the first week of July, cultural and commemorative activities will occur alongside international conferences. They will culminate in Liberation Day events at the National Amahoro Stadium and in the country’s 30 districts. Rwandan embassies, communities abroad and friends of Rwanda will also host activities.
As part of Kwibohora20, a Youth Conversation is organized by the Imbuto Foundation and the Ministry of Youth and ICT. The retreat is held under the theme ‘Kwibohora20: Twahisemo’ or ‘Kwibohora20: We chose’. This theme reflects the three choices Rwandans made after Liberation: to stay together, to be accountable and to think big. The retreat will be held in three places: Musanze, Huye and Rwamagana and runs until Saturday 28 June.
600 participants attended the retreat, many of whom are Ndi Umunyarwanda ambassadors (Urunana Rw’Urugano). The programme has a focus on the practical role young Rwandans can play in national development.
On the final day of the retreat, participants at each site will participate in a local Umuganda. This will be part of the Kwibohora20 Global Umuganda taking place around Rwanda and across the world.
Day 1 – 26 June
Getting to know you and team building: This session is a chance for participants to meet their fellow Ndi Umunyarwanda ambassadors and share experiences. It will also include a number of team building exercises as a way to show participants what working together looks like. The purpose of this session is to build relationships between the ambassadors so that they are better able to work together on projects and hold each other accountable.
The essence of Ndi Umunyarwanda - Choosing to stay together: This session will be a recap of the core principles of the Ndi Umunyarwanda programme and the role of the ambassadors in it. It will include a guest speaker and a question and answer session. The purpose of this session is to answer any remaining questions so that ambassadors have a clear understanding of the programme.
Day 2 – 27 June
Thinking Big: This will be an inspirational session with a guest speaker talking about the responsibility we all have to develop our country. It will also include a brainstorm by the participants on the type of activities they want to undertake in their districts. The purpose of this session is to motivate the participants and provide a space for them to think big and decide what community development project they will complete.
Being Accountable I: This session is a practical workshop run by a project management/planning expert. It will stem off from their brainstorming ideas and help the participants build on ideas. All participants will be divided in their respective district groups and will receive step by step guidance on how to develop and implement plan for their selected community project. In this they will also draw up mechanisms to hold each other & their leaders accountable to completing their projects. The purpose of this session is to ensure participants think about how they will develop their project and have a written plan to ensure it is completed.
Being Accountable II: This session will be a debrief on their project planning session. They will discuss the purpose of playing a role in their nation’s development and the importance of remaining accountable to their country. The purpose of this closing session is to motivate the ambassadors to take the lead in realizing the role of the Rwandan youth today and their stake in the country’s sovereignty. Accountability is about responsibility and the obligation the youth have to their fellow generation as well as to their country. As they select a project, the idea of accountability will help them to choose a realistic yet impactful project to implement. It should be clear that they are accountable for what they pledge to deliver.
Day 3 – 28 June
Global Umuganda: Each site will participate in a local Umuganda. This will be part of the Kwibohora20 Global Umuganda taking place around Rwanda and across the world. The specific Umuganda activity will be decided by the district where the retreat is being held (Musanze, Huye and Rwamagana).
Kwibohora20: Together, We Prosper
Global Umuganda on 28 June 2014
Rwanda marks twenty years since the Rwandan Patriotic Front stopped the Genocide against Tutsi, Kwibohora20 (Liberation), by honouring those who fought in the struggle for freedom and dignity. A series of Kwibohora20 activities will take place in Rwanda and around the world between June and December. One of these activities is Global Umuganda. It will take place around Rwanda and across the world on Saturday 28 June 2014.
On the last Saturday of each month, millions of Rwandans come together to improve their communities. The program is called Umuganda (meaning ‘coming together in common purpose’) and has been crucial for reconciliation and building Rwanda anew. Umuganda typically begins at 8am, at which time the community meets to work on a project. This might be building a road, rehabilitating wetlands, fixing erosion or building houses for vulnerable people. This is followed by a community meeting to discuss national and local issues. The concept is related to the idea of solidarity and a communal sense of living. You can learn more about Umuganda, view photos and watch videos at www.rwandapedia.rw.
This year, as part of international activities to mark the twentieth anniversary of the Liberation of Rwanda, a special Global Umuganda on Saturday 28 June will take place. In Rwanda, a series of development projects will be led by local communities. Internationally, we encourage people to conduct their own version of Umuganda by, for example, helping vulnerable people, working with local development projects or doing something to protect the environment where they live.
To engage Rwandans, at home and abroad, and friends of Rwandan in Global Umuganda and to highlight the importance of working together for shared prosperity.
Global Umuganda – Rwanda
All 30 districts will conduct a special Umuganda on sites dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the liberation day. After Umuganda, ministers will chair discussions about Rwanda’s development since 1994, the meaning of Kwibohora20 in the future and the importance of working together for shared prosperity.
Global Umuganda – International
The Umuganda philosophy goes beyond Rwanda’s borders. Working together to improve our communities is an activity that benefits everyone. Therefore, Rwandan missions and embassies abroad are encouraged to organise their own Global Umuganda events alongside the local Rwandan community. Some examples include working to clean up a local park, helping a school with renovations or support elderly residents. Embassies are also encouraged to hold a discussion afterwards about Rwanda’s development since 1994, the meaning of Kwibohora20 in the future and the importance of working together for shared prosperity.
Tips for getting involved:
Umuganda is about coming together to improve the world around us, whether for your street, town or country. Here are some tips for getting involved:
Visit www.kwibuka.rw to join an Umuganda near you or organise your own.
Register your Umuganda on the events page of the Kwibuka20 website and find out what others are planning for their communities.
Promote your event on Facebook and Twitter by downloading posters and flyers or uploading your own for others to share with friends.
Check if you need permission from your local authorities to organise Global Umuganda where you live.
Tell local media about what you have planned so they are able to support or promote your event.
Upload photos and videos from your event to www.kwibuka.rw and share on social media with the #Kwibohora20 and #GlobalUmuganda hashtags.
Rwanda will mark twenty years since liberation (Kwibohora20) by reflecting on the past, looking to ahead with hope, optimism and a renewed commitment to a future where ‘Together, we prosper’.
Join the Conversation
Join the conversation about Global Umuganda on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtags #Kwibohora20 and #GlobalUmuganda.