The Peace and Love Proclaimers known by the acronym of PLPs whose majority of members are students were on Wednesday given a take-home task to fight against the remnants of the genocide ideology against the Tutsi that are still rampant in schools.
The members of the Peace and Love Proclaimers alongside students from different corners of the country gathered yesterday at the Kigali Convention center to celebrate the 15 years of the organization’s establishment.
Speaking at the 15-year anniversary celebration of the Peace and Love Proclaimers, the Minister of National Unity and Civic Engagement, (MINIBUMWE) Dr. Jean Damascene Bizimana reminded the youth that genocide ideology is still a major setback to the unity and reconciliation of the country.
“For you who have decided to make Rwanda a better country, you must also fight those who are tarnishing its image on social media platforms,” he said.
Delivering his remarks to over 2000 youth gatherings, the Minister of National Unity and Reconciliation requested young students to stick to values of unity.
“There are remnants of the genocide ideology still existing among the youth. It is seen through social media and you have the capacity to counter-combat it,” he said.
"We need to work together so as to be able to build our country,” he further said.
The Minister also stressed that drug abuse is among the challenges affecting the welfare of youth.
“It is unfortunate that many youths of your age are sentenced to prison for 20-25 years because of drug dealing and abuse. Let’s avoid those destructive engagements,” he added.
Rwandan youth constitute almost 70% of Rwandans and mark the majority of the country’s workforce.
The study on the prevalence and drugs and substance abuse amongst adolescents conducted in the 7 districts showed that 13.7% of males and 2.7% of females had at least engaged in binge drinking.
Boys aged 18 and above represent the majority of binge drinkers (9.2%).
The 2050 vision prioritizes a high standard of living for all Rwandans including the young generations.
Also, during the event, the PLP co-founders recounted their stories from the early stages of founding the organization.
“We were unable to go to school due to lack of school fees. This opened my eyes that bad things can happen in other parts of the country,” said Jean Michel Habineza.
In addition, Mark Gwamaka, who is also the co-founder of the PLP, shared his inspirations behind the creation of the organization.
While recounting the PLP journey, Gwamaka said he felt touched when he visited Mother Teresa's orphanages and found kids abandoned by parents.
He recounted the testimony of the journey behind the famous genocide youth platform 'Walks To Remember'.
“We had no finances in the coffer to support the walk to remember initiative but then we decided to sell wristbands and enabled to fetch Rwf9 million,” he said.
Ornella Imena, a student from Riviera High School and a member of PLP shared the benefits of the organization in the last 6 years.