So far up to this time we have Identified 5631 completely perished families composed of 21984 members in 6 districts of Rwanda, including the Provinces of the South, West, East and Kigali. This coming year we will do our annual project in the Northern Province.
- We will continue to conduct the annual “Walk to Remember”
- We have produced 4 professional documentary films on ‘completely perished’ families. We will continue to do this annually, with the next focus on the northern province.
- We help create and establish ‘artificial’ families for the survivors so that they can have lifelong support of our membership for weddings, births, and celebrations and remembrances of all kinds.
- We organize conferences aiming at creating the awareness of genocide and its consequences as well as peace building. We have created and conducted conferences ranging from 1 day to a full week in length which included guest speakers and discussion groups. The theme of our up coming conference is focused on Genocide ideology and negation.
- We have sponsored funding for medical care for at least 6 patients whose cases had been judged un-treatable in Rwanda.
- Set up an anti negation desk that takes a stand against negation and revisionism of genocide by prep
- aring petitions, press releases and media publicity.
- In collaboration with other survivors organization, 1202 cases of injustice on survivors properties were advocated and are being handled by the local government and the National taskforce established by Rwanda Prime Minister
- GAERG has been significantly involved in the advocacy for reparation and in the revision of the law establishing FARG, CNLG policy and also participated in different meetings advocating for genocide survivors rights.
By creating GAERG members investment companies and business cooperatives for its beneficiaries aiming at poverty alleviation and self reliance in the future, we are fulfilling our objective of strengthening the capacity of our members to cope with genocide related socio-economic problems. We have assisted in forming 2 cooperatives consisting of 20 people each focusing on green houses and farming with a total income of 80 million rwf per year for each cooperative.
We have also established a cooperative of 15 members each receiving a milking cow, selling milk and building homes with the proceeds.
- GAERG financially and morally supported more than 300 members to organize and conduct their weddings.
- GAERG members created 2 investment companies (TIC and APES) that have 250,000,000 Rwandan Francs of capital.
- Members of GAERG and their friends sponsored 57 students in different universities of Rwanda
Through school visits and participation in different AERG retreats, more than 22,000 students got mentorship and advice from their senior members of GAERG.
- The Memory and documentation of Completely perished families during the Genocide against Tutsi
In 1994, a long planned genocide against Tutsi took place in Rwanda whereby more than a million people were killed by former political leaders, high ranking military officials with great support from mobolised Hutu militia prepared to exterminate Tutsi.
The killings were extremely intense, planned to the extent , Tutsi foetus, babies, young and people were killed in 100 days. As the order was to completely exterminated Tutsi, there are some families who completely perished, nobody was left to tell, their homes are now bushes, due to the fact that nobody survived to inherit them.
After the Genocide, The Government of Rwanda together with Survivors organization strived to keep the memory of Genocide by organizing different remembrance events, burying the bodies of victims but also setting up different activities to commemorate, document and prevent the Genocide from family level to the national level. Unfortunately, there was no activity dedicated to only those completely perished families who had no body left to tell their history and even remember them as survivors did for their killed families.
It is in that context that in 2009, the GAERG (Groupe des Anciens Etudiants Rescapes du Genocide), an organization of former students Survivor of Genocide , which has mission to remember and rebuild the Nation, striving for self reliance, thought that those perished families should be remembered specifically. It is in this regard that from 2009, GAERG has taken initiative of gathering the information around the Rwandan Districts about the perished families by trying to make a census of all perished families victims but also organize remembrance events dedicated to them. So far, only 10 among 30 districts have been covered counting 6092 families composed of around 26876 members were captured, and the information is stored in Excel file.
This project aims at gathering information on completely perished families in Districts of Rwanda and put them in the Database Management System
- Preserving Memory of Genocide and fighting Genocide ideology
- Collecting and conserving the testimonials and any other valuable pieces of evidence in connection with the genocide in a secure and sustainable way for future generations.
- Educate the Rwandan and international community to fight against the revisionist views of genocide in Rwanda and elsewhere in the world.
- Assist beneficiaries to overcome trauma and develop a sense of identity through the restoration of the concept of the family amongst survivors by creating foster families and encouraging formation of biological families.
Education and Mentorship program to Students survivors of genocide
As stated above, GAERG was derived from AERG because its members were no longer Students. In fact GAERG is a continuation of AERG after Studies. We consider our young brothers like our own young Family that needs both Psycho-sociological, economical supports. Our activities in this regard include:
- Paying regular visits to students either at the universities or at secondary schools; this is done by Families where each Family of GAERG has clause relationship with a particular University or higher learning Institution of AERG, so the same with Secondary Schools under these institutions.
- Organizing together the mourning periods countrywide.
- Supporting some Students with Scholarships (Whenever means are available); here each family of GAERG supports at least one Student through member’s contribution.
- Advocating for younger Students dropping out, accommodation issues, transport, food at school, health care, scholarships, etc.
- Support beneficiaries from formal and informal education into employment
- Socio-Economic development
- Identify and advocate for socio-economic problems faced by survivors of Genocide committed against the Tutsi
- Increase income through promotion of entrepreneurship, income generating activities amongst beneficiaries.
- Assisted in the legal process and secured lost property and land for beneficiaries to enhance economic security.
- Capacity building, entrepreneurship business development program
- GAERG realized the importance to invest in youth development, the predominant population group in Rwanda by introducing self employment through entrepreneurship project. They need to create their own jobs and jobs for others through their own start up initiatives. Rwandan youth with high level technical skills can create innovative businesses in the formal sector as well as contribute to improving employment levels in their age group. It is in this background that GAERG train young Genocide survivors group them in business cooperatives but also mentor them to become successful
- Strengthen the capacity of our members to cope with problems related to trauma, justice, security, and social economic issues.
- Promote both formal and informal education for survivors through advocacy and sponsorship within the limits of our means.