the AMAHORO generation
Savagery took over the mind, they went out hunting as kindred spirits, they became a ferocious barbaric species. They were the Interahamwe, the infamous killers of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. They were also the youth of the nation. Today victim and perpetrator are still coping with the aftermath of the 100 days the world chose to ignore.
Born during the genocide era, Rwandan’s youth speak of their aspirations, their hope for peace in the aftermath of a brutal war that fractured their nation. They are the generation that wants to be acknowledged as Rwandese, united in purpose, eliminating historical tribal labels of Hutu and Tutsi. They want their legacy to be known as the Amahoro generation, the peace brokers; where the youth of their parent’s generation were the brutal warriors. They believe hatred corrodes morality.
The youth have come together, united in purpose – much of their commitment to reconciliation is rooted in the idea that without peace, there is no future. Peace is everything, the steel platform to construct prosperity and harmony.
Predictably after many conflicts, the prejudice, deep scars, and trauma from the war are passed on from one generation to another. As such, the horrors of the past risk contaminating yet more lives in the future. International Alert, the peace building organization has created peace clubs for schools to benefit young people affected by the consequences of the genocide and their quest to live in a peaceful society as united Rwandans. Here the students debate the factors, which led Rwandans to genocide like discrimination, and rumours, and its consequences of ethnic hatred and stigmatisation. The club’s programme has been a significant factor in reducing tensions in communities allowing families to live side by side in peace. Supporting the younger generation of Rwandans to overcome the burden of history and build a future free of violence is one of the primary aims of the peace building process.
Amahoro, means peace; it is the youth’s destiny.