Staff of Africa Improved Foods (AIF) that included management have been advised to always love their neighbors by Jean Marie Vianney, a survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in hi statement to his colleagues.
Jean Marie Vianney made the remarks on a day when Africa Improved Foods held an internal Kwibuka event with the staff following a Walk to Remember.
Speaking at the commemoration event, the Chief Executive Officer Amar Ali noted the importance of remembrance as it helps one to reflect and forge a new path, “The importance of remembrance even when times are good is that it can be very easy to think about your past. Remembrance is incredibly important to make sure that we never forget what happened and make sure we keep the lessons of the past at the top of our minds,” he said.
Quoting from the Bible in Isaiah 35:7 “The dry ground will become a pool and the springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land. Grass, reeds and rushes will flourish where desert Jackals once lived.” As a metaphor, this simply describes how Rwanda has changed in the last 24 years and the evidence is all around us. “I have travelled a lot, met different people all over the world regularly and you see that Rwanda is on the map in a way that it has never been before and becoming much more prominent across the whole world.” Amar continued.
Jean Marie Vianney, genocide survivor working for AIF narrated how he managed to survive the tragedy, at the time he was living in Gikongoro and that’s where the killings begun.
“My message to all is that, if you want to live an everlasting life, learn how to love your neighbor. The tragedy we went through made me open my eyes,” Jean Marie said.
“Working with AIF has given me a purpose as we are contributing to the fight of malnutrition, being able to feed the needy in different refugee camps gives me hope and happy that I’m finally living my dream,” he added.
Hon. Professor Nkusi Laurent, a representative from CNLG took the participants through the history of Rwanda and the lead up to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and emphasized on how before the Genocide, Tutsi children were not allowed to have access to education like other Rwandan children. “The few who managed to study, were persecuted in class and could only finish primary studies without going to secondary or university level, the few politicians that tried to fight for the rights of the Tutsis paid with their lives,” Professor Nkusi said.
The Kwibuka 24 at AIF was wrapped up with the Country Manager Prosper Ndayiragije message thanking all the staff for their continued support in these hard times and urged them to keep up the spirit of Remembering, renewing and uniting as Rwandans in general.