Rwanda. – At the Kigali Genocide Memorial. Much work is done by the Rwandan government to educate school children and ensure that they never forget the lives that were lost or the violence that once existed between the hutu and tutsi people. These strips of ribbons with personal messages were left by a recent school group – my favourite ’never again’.
Whilst I was at the memorial a group of about 30 high school children were visiting with their teachers. We arrived together in the children’s room, which is filled with photos of beautiful little faces, some with names and descriptions of their favourite food, past time, best friend, etc. They were once the innocent hope and future of the nation, yet were systematically wiped out by the hutu.
Its a very difficult place to be and I was sobbing as I read the plaques and grasped the details when one of the school girls next to me found the photo of somebody that she was related to. She broke down, crying with such a deep anguish, heaving and shaking with heartache and sorrow. When I left about half an hour later, I could still hear her plaintive cry from the bathrooms. Actually I can still hear it now and it makes me cry with her. The sound of a broken person.
There is too much sadness in this world and when I meet the reality of sweet children massacred because of their ethnic group, as happened here, I can barely find the strength to comprehend it. Twenty years on, despite the noble efforts by all, the wounds are very raw.