Hora Rwanda teaches young people about the genocide

Tuesday April 16 2019

The CNLG is currently engaging the youth to

The CNLG is currently engaging the youth to understand what happened during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA  

By LEONCE MUVUNYI
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Efforts are being made to unite young Rwandans born during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and those too young to remember.

Through Hora Rwanda, an umbrella organisation that brings together young survivors of the genocide, young people say they still struggle to understand what happened. Others are still traumatised by what happened.

Alphonsine Gisubizo, a 25-year-old genocide survivor said the organisation brings together over 200 genocide youth survivors and helps them learn about their history.

They also provide emotional and social support to each other. Some members of the association play parental roles.

However, some of the members still grapple with post-traumatic stress disorder, which lasts beyond the commemoration period.

According to mental health experts, post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event — either by experiencing it or witnessing it.

Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Most people who go through traumatic events may have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping, but with time and good self-care, they usually get better.

According to a recent assessment carried out from 2017 to 2018, by Psychiatric Care Unit at the Rwanda Biomedical Centre of Ministry of Health, post-traumatic stress disorder is common among those aged 25 and the post-genocide generation.

The report said that while prevalence of depression is at 11.9 per cent in the general population and 35.6 per cent among genocide survivors,

53.5 per cent of them are the youth. The participants reported a history of post-traumatic stress disorder acute among women at 71.8 per cent, against their male counterparts, among those between 20 years and 45 years.

The report said that 82.2 per cent of the young people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder lost their parents during the genocide.

The National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide is engaging with the youth to help them understand what happened during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. The youth are urged to participate in the genocide commemoration events.

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