USC Shoah Foundation’s mission to Rwanda ended Tuesday after the delegation attended the Kwibuka20 commemoration ceremony and delved into USC Shoah Foundation’s work in education and archive-building.
On Friday, the group visited the Ntarama and Nyamata memorial sites, followed by a presentation and dialogue on USC Shoah Foundation and Aegis Trust’s knowledge exchange around collecting, indexing, digitizing, preserving, and providing access to audiovisual testimony. This session was an opportunity for the mission guests to meet the team in Kigali who handles this work and to have an up-close understanding of the significance of the living archive and its potential for use in education and building peace.
Over the weekend, the group visited Agahozo Shalom Youth Village, which works with orphans and other vulnerable young people to help them realize their potential. They do this both by furnishing them with safety, healthcare, and life skills as well as an education to help these children make socially responsible decisions. Two of Agahozo Shalom’s teachers participated in USC Shoah Foundation and Aegis Trust’s teacher training program and, subsequently, Agahozo Shalom served as a pilot school for using IWitness.
Next, the participants engaged in a discussion with USC Vice Provost Beth Meyerowitz, Aegis Country Director Freddy Mutanguha, and USC Shoah Foundation executive director Stephen Smith about the meaning and challenges around commemoration and other questions and observations.
Monday marked the official date of commemoration of the Rwandan Tutsi Genocide and the Kwibuka20 ceremony, held at Amahoro National Stadium. The ceremony included videos, testimony, performances and remarks by President Paul Kagame. It was followed by the national Walk to Remember and candlelight vigil at Kigali Genocide Memorial.