Africa We Want

NORTHERN IRELAND - RWANDA: Northern Ireland can learn from Rwanda - SEFF

A local victims’ campaign group hosted a representative from a Rwandan non-profit organisation that was founded to contribute to the restoration and development of the country. By Ciaran Flaherty

Christophe Mbonyingabo, from CARSA Ministries, attended a range of events in Northern Ireland organised through the South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF) including a meeting of SEFF members in Lisnaskea last Friday, speaking about the work of his Ministry.

Last Saturday, he attended a coffee morning in Collaghty Church Of Ireland where he spoke about the ’Cow for Peace Project, and he availed of a SEFF Border Trail of South East Fermanagh where he also had an opportunity to engage directly with victims/survivors, followed by sharing his testimony and lived experiences on Sunday last in Molesworth Presbyterian Church, Cookstown.

“Our values system aligns and we each are clear of the need for perpetrators to come to a place of remorse/repentance and that there is also work for victims/survivors to do in best enabling them to attain a level peace and the ability to live again, as opposed to merely existing.”When out in Rwanda, our SEFF group witnessed the Mission work of Christophe and colleagues and the difference that is making within many lives.

“Rwanda was ravaged by the genocide of Tutsis, with one million murdered, accounting for circa 12 per cent of the population; for Northern Ireland at pro rata levels, that would have meant 175,000 people being slaughtered.”We also share the analysis of the present – that a failure by perpetrators to acknowledge and to own what they have done and were party to is creating a huge barrier to the potential for progress towards possibly forgiveness and conciliation/reconciliation," he added.

Mr. Donaldson said Northern Ireland has much to learn from Rwanda “not least the power of the human spirit, the strength of community and the resolve to build a nation from the ashes for which all might feel proud and empowered by”.

He added: “Our westernised arrogance around these issues needs to leave space for learning from those areas disparagingly referred to as ’Third World Nations’.”

Author: MANZI


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