Strong believer in my generation -- Open Letter To Rwandan Youths

RYOUTHThis past week, Rwandans and friends of Rwanda engaged in various activities to remember and commemorate the 19th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide. The week marks a time in history when an unspeakable atrocity and violation of human life begun when on April 7th, 1994 and for the three months that followed, over a million Rwandans were slaughtered in the worst way possible. To make sure that what happened in Rwanda never happens again, Rwandan youths from all works of life are picking up new challenges and embarking on a journey of bringing back the glory to the land of a thousand hills; their motherland. Today, we are delighted to share with our readers the following open letter to every Rwandan youth in the world from one of their own. Enjoy and share.

I am writing this as a simple citizen, as a guy in his late 20s and as a son of Rwanda. I am doing this because I believe in my generation; I have the optimism that my generation will be THE generation!  I think we are the generation of change in Rwandan society, because we have a different mindset, a clear vision, a right direction and a pride to be Rwandans. We have good communication skills and a great attitude.

We are the generation which is committed to help and build their country. The generation of accepting our disagreements and differences with others, yet respecting their opinions and who will nonetheless take them into consideration when it comes to building the future of our country.I have had many conversations with my Rwandan peers, young and old. I have seen the excitement in their eyes, felt the desire in their hearts and the determination in their mind.

I can see the big expectations everyone has for our generation. I can tell that we are all anxiously waiting for our time. Even the old are. Time when there will be no personal interest or feelings in decisions making, when our generation will lead with principle, rationality and wise decision! The moment when good things will be pleased and the bad corrected.

The time when no one will receive neither a favor nor any other advantage over they Rwandan brothers and sisters because of they last name, or where they come from, a time when no one will be looked down on because no one knows them. The moment we advance together and no one is left behind. Times when everyone is eager to contribute to their community and develop their country.

The moment the leaders in our society are responsible for their positions and accountable for their actions. The time when something wrong will be shunned by all Rwandans and not just one side. This time, justice will serve all and injustice will not be tolerated. This is When we will put our ego aside and make our country first. Our energy and knowledge will all be infested in the good use for our country, not in pin pointing to destroy initiatives and commitments of others while they build our country. The time we will make our past the lesson learned, the present the foundation and the future the success. I believe we will be the generation of equal rights and equal opportunities.

The free minders of all Rwandan generations. Last year, I had a good discussion with a good friend of mine after watching the American presidential debate. He asked me if we will ever see the kind of openness in Africa or Rwanda to be specific. I told him it has to start somewhere, with him, with myself and others in our generation. If we want to see it happen in our countries or our continent. I told him if we really want to change our countries, leave the best mindset, a good systems in place and a great nation to our kids and grand kids, we have to start now. We have to shape what we want for our kids. We can do it, there's no reason why we can't. We will make it happen if we stay united, keep our understanding and respect; and focus on the good of our countries.

I believe that when our time arrives, we will be ready. We will be willing to listen and be able to understand others. We will share our opinions openly and give our contributions in an honest and constructive manner. I believe in my generation because of how I see the open mindedness in most of us, the good understanding between us, the less hypocrites we are, the patriotic people we are all becoming  and the drive we have to challenge each other, to work together, to build our country and to be the best we can be. The undeniable desire we all share of leaving a different legacy to the our younger brothers and sisters that the one we inherited from our fathers.

I had never thought that I would one day put my thoughts and principles on paper, I have done so because I want us to challenge ourselves. This also happened as a result of a wisely intellectual conversation I had with a certain good friend of mine, he had expressed his desire for me to challenge other members of our generation.  I did it because I want to help my generation, to share with them my enlightened discussions with many other friends, countrymen and well wishers who share the same goals and future plans with me, I did it because I felt it was time we realized that we ought not to make the same mistakes as the generations that precedented us. I think this is the time we should start the discussion to build the foundations of our future and make a path to our destiny.  I want to challenge every young Rwandan to think about the following 3 questions:

  • Where do you want to see our country when it will be your time to lead?
  • What is your contribution now?
  • What are you doing to ascertain that your contributions are valuable to your community, they make your country stronger, thus leads to a better tomorrow?

I want to conclude like i started, I believe in my generation, I have faith in young Rwandans. We are the generation of thinkers and doers. The generation which thinks about what we can do for our country not what our country has done for us. With all we've been through, with all the lessons we've learned, with all the dreams and aspirations we have as a generation, I'm forced to believe that we are the one; we are the A-generation! Now, lets all continue with our sole principle goal, lets make our country shine again.

By Emery Aubin KAYIRANGA

Emery A. Kayiranga is a passionate son of Rwanda and a survivor of the Rwandan genocide who now lives in Ottawa. His also a community activists who works with various Afro-Canadian Organizations. He has volunteered with the World University Service of Canada and has helped raise money for different charities that work in Africa. Emery committee member of Bempong foundation, an NGO that helps children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. Further, Emery serves as the treasurer of the Canadian Association Of Rwandan Youths (CARY) executive board.