The Aegis Trust, Interpeace and Never Again Rwanda today came together at the Kigali Genocide Memorial to launch the Rwanda Peace Partnership. Supported by Sida, Sweden’s Government Agency for Development Cooperation, this collaborative framework will help deliver complementary programmes for a peaceful, cohesive and inclusive Rwandan society.
The launch of this unique partnership was themed under ‘National Stakeholders’ Reflection on Societal Healing’. The launch had two main objectives; creating a space to share knowledge and lessons learned on societal healing and strengthening collaboration and coordination among healing actors.
“Rwanda Peace Partnership is an initiative that helps us come together and share our experience,” says Dr Joseph Nkurunziza Ryarasa, Executive Director of Never Again Rwanda. “Experience has shown that if you work alone, you cannot go far but if you work with other people you’ll reach far. Time has come that we come together and bridge the gaps so as to reach our expected outcomes.”
“Our main mandate at Interpeace is to reinforce the peace initiatives that already exists in this country,” says Frank Kayitare, Country Representative of Interpeace Rwanda. “This partnership becomes a bigger step in terms of resources and knowledge. This can be a great learning opportunity, and as we share the same partner the Swedish Embassy, we complement each other.”
“These three organizations have a long history of working with the community to build reconciliation and peace,” says Freddy Mutanguha, Executive Director of the Aegis Trust. “We thank Sida for this opportunity to make a greater impact, while also sharing our knowledge in order to have greater outreach and a bigger impact in Rwanda as well as abroad because we need to think broader and transcend borders.”
The Ambassador of Sweden to Rwanda, Johanna Teague, recognized how this partnership will be key in building sustainable peace in Rwanda and healing trauma. “Upholding peace is not a one-day event; it is something we undertake every day. Many Rwandans are still facing trauma; children inherit the culture of silence from their parents who suffer from their past wounds. This is why Sida works with initiatives who work towards building peace and achieving a healed society. Together these three partners can fill the gaps in the path of building peace, as they reach out to 20 out of the 30 districts of Rwanda and if they overlap in their work, then surely their work will have a greater impact.”
The representatives of these three organizations also emphasized that this partnership is open to other civil society organizations, different donors and the government. While closing this event, the Executive Director of Aegis Trust, Freddy Mutanguha, congratulated all involved for making this partnership a reality, and the Swedish Embassy for supporting the partnership. He also invited any interested organization to join cause in building peace.