Hundreds of young people have come together in Kayonza in Rwanda’s Eastern Province for the closing of the Aegis Trust national arts exhibition. The students from secondary schools in the area joined community leaders to view an educative exhibition that included paintings, photographs, drawings and videos. The artwork was produced by young Rwandans with the aim of sharing a message of peace using their artistic gifts and talents.
This exhibition was a result of the Film and Photography Challenge and the National Schools Competition organised by the Aegis Trust youth department. These activities are part of the Aegis mission to inspire young people to contribute positively by sharing a message of peace with their peers. The theme for this year’s competition was “Peace and Culture as a way to Sustainable Development” and came as Rwandans remembered the Genocide against the Tutsi for the twenty-first time.
As well as visiting the exhibition and listening to artists describe the meaning behind each artwork, the students also learnt about the history of Rwanda and the causes and consequences of the Genocide. They also learnt about Rwanda’s journey of renewal over the last two decades, which is thanks to the tireless efforts of all Rwandans – including young people.
Speaking at the event, Executive of Mukarange Sector, where the exhibition took place, congratulated all those who participated in the competition. He said that what they have crafted is inspiring and educating other young people around the country. He also reminded them that they are the shapers of the Rwanda they want to see.
“Rwanda has given you many opportunities, including education. So use whatever you have to positively change your communities and be proud of your role because where Rwanda will be in the future depends on your contribution today,” said Claude Murekezi.
Representing Aegis Trust, Honore Gatera inspired the young people to take charge no matter their age and know that what they are learning today will be a foundation for them to build their nation.
“You must strive to be brave in looking at what can make your communities and Rwanda better. Once you own it, you will not allow anyone from afar to come and destroy what you have built.” He added that whatever they can do to promote peace is key to the development of their nation.
Liliose Mujawamariya (13) was among those who visited the exhibition. She said that she learnt a lot and knows that that even though she is still young, she can also contribute meaningfully to her country by using her gifts. Liliose said she is looking forward to taking part in the next competition.