Equity Bank Rwanda on Wednesday commemorated the 1994 Genocide Against Tutsi by donating fifteen heifers to the most vulnerable survivors of the genocide in three sectors (Mukarange, Nyamirama, Ruramira) of Kayonza District.
They also laid wreaths on Mukarange memorial site where 8707 bodies are buried.
Equity Bank staff, residents and authorities attended the handover ceremony at Mukarange Sector the same location where Interahamwe militiamen gathered and butchered the victims’ cattle during the genocide.
Equity bank Rwanda Managing Director Hannington Namara said that this initiative is in line with the national commemoration program to remember those killed in the genocide but also help survivors to renew.
“We, as Equity Bank, work with the government and Rwandan citizens to uphold and implement all the country’s programs. However, in particular to the commemoration period, that means a lot for us,” Namara said.
He said that they cooperated with the National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG) and the national commemoration commission in order to decide which place was most in need and they proposed Mukarange Sector. Equity staff then decided to come and provide support in this area.
“They thought about which location could be most convenient and they advised us to hold this ceremony at this place in Mukarange Sector. Usually, this is what happens; we work with them and they tell us in which area we may intervene. We also cooperate in supporting the genocide survivors,” he said.
Kayonza District Mayor Jean Claude Murenzi expressed gratitude to Equity Bank staff for this support and for sparing their time to join them during the commemoration period.
“You could have told one person to carry these heifers in a vehicle and stay at home, but you really chose to come here and join us despite your tight schedule.”
“We thank you very much. We also thank you that you have thought about genocide survivors and given them this support in recognition of the good program of President Paul Kagame to give cows to Rwandans,” Murenzi said.
He promised that the district will do everything to make sure that the heifers benefit their recipients. He also urged 15 families that were given the heifers to look after them properly.
“The heifers you have been given can be a business if you look after them well. You can pay school fees, health insurance for your children and support the family.
One of those who received the heifers Eugenie Mukamusoni 71 lost her family in the genocide except for one daughter. She said the heifer will help her to get manure and milk.
“I am very happy. I thank the bank and president Paul Kagame for thinking about us,” Mukamusoni said.