Elvin students attend Memorial event at City Hall for the 25th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide

On Monday 20th May, Beth and Aksht were lucky enough to attend a workshop and memorial event at City Hall in central London to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide. The workshop including stories of six surviving Rwandans that lived through the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. This gave us an insight into what it was like to live during the time and gave us a different perspective that we wouldn’t have seen in class. We heard stories of real hardship, where they had been torn from their families, forced to flee into foreign countries and revisited Rwanda years later in an attempt to find family members.

The story that resonated with us both was the story of Eric, a Tutsi footballer, who was spared by Hutu soldiers just because he played football for a popular Rwandan football team. It really made us think about the phrase that ‘football saved my life’ and how in this case it really did save someone’s life. We spent the workshop asking questions to the survivors, in particular how important it was to learn about a range of History away from what we simply study in school and also how to learn to forgive people, even when they may have hurt or discouraged you. We made pledges from what we had learned, how we would go on in our lives remembering the event and how we could make a positive change in the future.

In the evening we marked the 25th anniversary by hearing stories from more survivors of the 1994 Genocide, along with speeches by an investigative journalist who reported the crimes that had taken place and a speech from the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. We finished the day by taking part in a minutes silence to remember those who had lost their lives in the tragic 100 days. It was truly a memorable event and one which we feel very fortunate to have taken part in.

Mr McDonough, Head of History