The Non-Governmental Organisation “Forum pour la Mémoire Vigilante, FMV” conducted a series of training for young refugees and religious leaders living in and around Mahama camp located in Kirehe District in eastern Rwanda. The central themes were inter-religious understanding, tolerance and non-active violence.
FMV is carrying out this activity with financial and technical support from the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience “ICSC”.
As a goal, according to Ferdinand Ndayiragije, legal representative of the FMV, “the training aims to involve religious leaders in education for peace, tolerance and peaceful cohabitation, which will strengthen confidence, understanding and good cohabitation between members of different religions working in the camp and outside the camp ”
“At a time when non-tolerance, discrimination and inter-religious conflicts have already taken and still take their toll causing the loss of thousands of human lives, resulting in thousands of refugees and homeless, putting others on the line, path of exile and this in the four corners of the world, the training was organised to serve as a thread of the social fabric in the camps ”he added.
The trainer, Mr Godefroid Sindayigaya, in charge of the Training and Leadership component within the FMV notes a goal that has almost already been achieved.
“Commit to be actors of peaceful inter-religious cohabitation, Change their mentality for the love of neighbour, Promote respect for human rights and Encourage peaceful cohabitation between communities and transform young people into actors of peace ”, he stressed.
He added: “The peaceful coexistence of different beliefs reflects harmony in society. Several religions are equal to several ideas and projects for the development of a community ”.
There is a Hope…
Religious leaders of different religious denominations working in the Mahama camp located in eastern Rwanda and around the camp as well as young people in a representative sample, say they are satisfied with the two sessions held on September 24 and 25, 2021 in Mahama. .
“We appreciate the sessions and promise that we commit ourselves to invest ourselves for peaceful inter-religious cohabitation. We are aware that peaceful inter-religious coexistence will be a reality in the Mahama camp, around and wherever we are ”, indicated religious leaders.
And when it comes to young people, they are committed to being reliable partners in building peace and doing everything to face discrimination or marginalisation and thus become actors resolutely committed to building a better future for them. all.
The two organisations also want young people to use their talents through graphic arts to participate in inter-religious cohabitation in this camp which is home to nearly 40,000 populations.
There are plans to design the comics that can be displayed in the camp. These artistic products will also travel around the world through the GMF and the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience to show how young refugees, destitute and vulnerable, can contribute to building peace.
To top it off, they were given a test exercise to test their degree of resilience: Choosing between circle of life or death. Oddly enough, all of them have chosen to belong in the circle of life.
“Seeing the poor conditions in exile and in the camp, they should have chosen the circle of despair, therefore of death. But to choose the path of life is to say that they are far from revenge and ready to manifest resilience ”, commented in turn the legal representative of the FMV, the trainer and the president of the camp of Mahama the Reverend. Pastor J. Bosco Kwibishatse, also a religious leader as Pastor of one of the Protestant churches operating in this camp which hosts two refugee communities including Burundians and Congolese.
No to violence…
Both sessions were held on the eve of the International Day of Non-Violence celebrated by the United Nations on October 2 of each year. The day coincides with the anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence.
Simple coincidence? No, according to the legal representative of FMV.
“As our organisations advocate active non-violence, we wanted the Day to also inspire young people and religious leaders in exile to avoid revenge even if they are victims. Resilience and the peaceful resolution of conflicts require saying no to violence and revenge ”, recalls Mr. Ferdinand Ndayiragije.
The local administration of the Mahama sector where the camp is located encourages this type of activity, which strengthens peaceful coexistence between refugees and host communities.
Forum pour la Mémoire Vigilante, FMV, operating on Rwandan low, is a non-governmental organisation active in education against crimes and humanitarian assistance for the most vulnerable populations such as refugees, internally displaced persons, returnees and most vulnerable immigrants as a result of crimes or conflict.