Boniface Mudenge from Bugeshi/Rubavu, was in New York to get an Award, one week ago. Back to Kigali, Mudenge told Bwiza.com that his speech there touched hearts of a 90 people audience. His experience and peace building will was beyond human understanding.
“I’ve never believeI would be here today in front of you. I have never gone to school, I am not a rich man but I found the greatest wealth by fully dedicating myself to others. And if I’ve been able to do something, you can do it as well. All I request is everyone continues to support efforts that bring peace, as the world”.
BONIFACE MUDENGE COMMON GROUND AWARD ACCEPTANCE
ShamilIdriss, Search for Common Ground, and those here, Good evening. I am extremely honored to stand in front of you today. My name is Boniface MUDENGE, I’m a small farmer.
I’m from Rwanda, a country that has experienced Genocide in 1994, and I’m the president, of Inyenyeri Itazima an association I founded in order to reconcile genocide survivors and perpetrators.
On behalf of myself and all the Rwandans with whom we share the same history, I am proud to accept this Common Ground Award. Your organization particularly supported us in our activities of peacebuilding, and promotion of unity and reconciliation in Rwanda.
I’m one of the Genocide survivors. Even though I faced difficult situations in my life, even though it was difficult to live together with those who killed yours, I thank God who gave me a heart free of the spirit of revenge.
Following the generosity of some fellow Hutus who rescued me and paid their lives for it, this inspired me to only see each person’s humanity and not their stereotyped group.
This gave me a new spirit of forgiveness to those who have killed members of my family. This also led me to decide to fight for peace and fight against injustice.
I want to thank the Government of Rwanda for the significant efforts they made to reconcile Rwandans and for their support to our activities.
Once more I want to thank Search for Common Ground and its leadership for their continued support.
I’ve never believeI would be here today in front of you. I have never gone to school. I am not a rich man but I found the greatest wealth by fully dedicating myself to others. And if I’ve been able to do something, you can do it as well. All I request is everyone continues to support efforts that bring peace, as the world still needs us. I am confident that together we can all create a peaceful and prosperous future.
Mudenge says at the end of ceremonies, too many people were coming to him, greeting him while tears were going down by emotions. They couldn’t believe such an achievement by an illiterate African, what academicians and high ranked soldiers failed to do.
Mudenge is planning to make a new statement to thank Search for Common Ground officials, but also telling the World that “Doing better never asks great means, but the will and determination”.
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Jean Baptiste Karegeya
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