My name is Yvette Umutoniwase, a Pearson College UWC student from Rwanda. On April 13th, 2019 Pearson College hosted the Rwandan Community of Greater Victoria (BC, Canada) and joined with Rwandans to commemorate the Rwandan Genocide, honour people who lost their lives and learning from it in order to make sure it won’t happen again anywhere in the world. Ruse is the leader of this community, he is a Pearson College Alumnus (Year 4) and he was a House Parent for more than 4 years. I am so thankful to the College’s effort to host this event and allowing it to happen. The following is an interview I had with Ruse that day:
Yvette:Hello what’s your name please?
Ruse: My name is Augustin Rusekampunzi and people call me Ruse.
Yvette: Am so pleased to have you here and thank you for tonight’s time. I have some questions for you. Why are you interested in sharing Rwandan Genocide History in the first place?
Ruse: The Rwandan Genocide affected not only Rwandans but also the international community, every year we commemorate it and remember and honour people who did not survive. This is also to help young people who were born after 1994 or who were young by then so that they may reflect on what happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Yvette: What lesson can you deliver to Pearson Community regarding this Commemoration?
Ruse: At Pearson College we come together to meet each other so that we can know each other. As a motivation for creating the College; once we understand each other we cannot dehumanize each other, we learn that the other is somebody that we can reach that shares the dreams with us, shares the security and needs to be happy. So we get then to make sure that when the events happen around the world; they are not just the events that we listen in news that they affect people we know and we are mindful in our action to make sure we don’t create them
Yvette: You have been invited by Pearson College to share Rwanda’s History, what do you expect from the Pearson Community after they’ve heard about our history?
Ruse: To think locally and act globally so that we take responsibility for our thoughts, our words and our actions. So that we are able in our daily life to behave and live in such a way that we are able to make the world a better place. We come here to learn how to be better people and to treat others in a respectful manner. In this case, to share awareness about the Rwandan Genocide.
Yvette: You came to campus yesterday and today. What response can you give to the students regarding their engagement or attendance?
Ruse: I thought there would be more people, to be honest; in fact I invited a lot of people because I thought there would be a lot of students. I just want to remind students that when people come to the College to visit, that they make every effort to show up and to listen because by coming you show that you want to know. I just also want to remind students that yes, technology is important and yes, you can watch Netflix. But there is no substitute for being with each other by spending the time in the day room and discussing with each other. So am grateful for students who came but I would have loved to see more.
Yvette: Thank you so much for your time it was a pressure to have you and thank you for all the information we got from you; I hope it will help students and Pearson College in general.
Ruse: Thank you Yvette.