This summer I was given the amazing opportunity to attend the Peacebuilding Institute (PBI). Going into it, I did not know much about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the only thing that I could recall learning about the genocide was clear back in Junior High school. We only talked about it briefly before moving onto another topic.
What I learnt from PBI
PBI taught me the importance of peacebuilding, the stages of genocide and warnings, the aftermath, the effects of genocide, and what Rwanda implements and teaches the world from it’s dark past.
Overall, I felt that the program was absolutely extraordinary and the resourceful instructors provided me with a clear understanding of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The two week program
During the lectures, having discussions in groups enabled everyone to give their views. Having people from Rwanda and the US showed the differences of the two countries and how we can learn from these differences to better our own countries.
What I loved the most was traveling to many different sites throughout Rwanda. Learning about the genocide in classroom sessions was excellent, but going to the memorials gives you a completely different experience of the traumatic events that occurred. Going to the sites and respecting the lives of all those who perished was very touching and a feeling that I will never forget.
Seeing the aftermath of the exploded grenades, bullet holes, to the mass graves exposes you to somewhat understand all the pain and destruction genocide creates.
What I take back home from Rwanda
I have learned so much and hope to implement all the knowledge i have gained into my future career. After attending the PBI, I learnt that the United States really doesn’t teach about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Talking with my cousin’s back home none of them even knew that it had even occurred. I hope that the United States will do a better job in the education system in teaching about the genocide.