Taarifa Rwanda

“Reconciliation Is About Sustained Cohesion, Not Just Repentance, Forgiveness,” Jeannette Kagame

The First Lady, Jeannette Kagame has told a gathering at a national prayer breakfast that true reconciliation is reflected when individuals, communities and countries share a common responsibility to realise their vision, and accept to hold each other responsible.

This monthly Prayer Breakfast was organised by the Rwanda Leaders Fellowship (RLF), to pray and reflect on the theme: “Reconciliation for Sustainable Peace and Development”.

During the Prayer Breakfast, the First Lady was joined by the ‘Sisters’, a group of women leaders, former Heads of State and spouses of leaders from around the world.

“For us to truly uplift ourselves and overcome what many believed we couldn’t, we had to look back and inspect ourselves, our communities and our country as a whole,” she noted.

Then, she also said, Rwandans had to unpack and understand what defined them, what made them vulnerable to the ideologies and tactics that resulted in loss of over 1000000 precious lives.

She said that this internal critical analysis revealed to Rwandans in many ways finding suitable solutions to their challenges and rebuilding their country required the hand and minds of all Rwandans.

Additionally, the First Lady noted that it revealed to Rwandans that for sustainable transformation and development to be attained, they needed inclusive systems and structures and reconciliation.

“Reconciliation for sustainable peace and development goes beyond repentance and forgiveness. It is about sustained cohesion. True reconciliation is reflected when individuals, communities and countries share a common responsibility to realise their vision, and accept to hold each other responsible,” she said.

She thanked the Rwanda Leaders Fellowship for organising the monthly prayer Breakfast and the ‘Sisters’ for joining her in prayer and fellowship.

“Thank you dear Sisters for visiting us, and for having always been with us, in one way or another. I value and appreciate your friendship and continued solidarity with the people of Rwanda,” she said.

She further said that their presence reflected the extent of their belief in the power of fellowship and prayer, to transform individuals, communities and nations.

“The transformation that I am talking about, and I believe we all aspire to, cannot take place without each of us reflecting inwards, to identify what needs change,” Jeannette Kagame said.

The First Lady noted that as a country, Rwanda took this path to reassemble the pieces that were broken, due to bad leadership that fostered poverty of minds and hearts as well as divisionism and hate that culminated into the tragic Genocide against the Tutsi.

Jeannette Kagame said Rwanda encourages and welcomes such gatherings, as they enable Rwandan people to continue telling their stories and exchanging ideas. They also allow them to forge genuine partnerships and work hand in hand to be each other’s keepers.

“As we continue to do so, let us ask ourselves these simple questions: As leaders, parents, role models and Christians, what impact do we want to have? What legacy do we want to leave?”

She said that asking themselves these questions will allow them to identify what they need to ensure sustainable development, and also identify each one’s role in achieving it.

Rwanda Leaders Fellowship Chairperson, Eric Munyemana, said that the main reason of this event is to give time to leaders to thank God, exchange views on leadership principles and discuss what God requires them.

Munyemana thanked the First Lady and President Paul Kagame for their role in building Rwanda’s partnership with other nations, and promised that they will also continue to walk in the same direction.

Mrs. Grace Nelson who represented the ‘Sisters’ delegation, from the United States of America, revealed the that members of her group have a lot to learn from Rwandans in terms of reconciliation and leadership and how the country managed to recover  from a bleak past.

“We are here to learn from you. You are ahead of us in so many things. When I came here for the first time, my heart was shocked and whenever I come back, I remember it but I also think about what you have achieved, including forgiveness, unity and reconciliation,” she said.

According to her, looking at what Rwandans have achieved in reconciliation and the fight against corruption and injustice after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda as is a miracle nation.

“This is a country which had been torn apart but what we should all know is that you managed to do it, you are the light for the world , and I am undoubtedly hopeful that it will keep on going the same way in the days to come, ” she added.

She further noted that so far,  Rwanda’s economic growth is the fastest on the African continent, a corruption-free country in different areas and that this is only a miracle country.

Grace Nelson praised Rwanda’s governance led by President Paul Kagame, who established the  programme of advancing the country and promoting women in general.

Organised by RLF, the prayer meeting usually brings together leaders in top positions for fellowship around a breakfast, to reflect on the milestones that the nation has achieved and pray for the nation and its leaders.

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