The African Students’ Association will host a campus-wide walk around the Lunsford trail Saturday, April 12 from 3-5 p.m. The Walk to Remember event will honor the 20th anniversary of the victims killed in the tragic Rwandan genocide.
“The walk is organized as an active commemoration of genocide victims around the world,” said Nancy Ndekwe, sophomore business major from Kigali, Rwanda. “It’s to raise awareness about the lessons of the Rwandan genocide.”
In addition, there will be a book signing inside the Labyrinth of the Campus Center by Serge Gasore, former ACU student from Rwanda and survivor of the Rwandan genocide. His book “My Day to Die” will be on sale and available for signing before and after the walk.
“I wanted to write this book because it was a way to let people know about problems many children face and so little is being done about them,” Gasore said. “People need to be reminded that life should never be taken for granted and that love, forgiveness and reconciliation should always be viewed as important.”
Gasore’s book tells his story of survival and hope during the Rwandan genocide.
“People will learn that God is bigger than us, and leaning, to ourselves, is the worst thing we can do,” Gasore said. “We are not self-sufficient without God. When you know this, you understand why we should forgive our enemies and help people who are at risk.”
Women from Uganda will be selling jewelry to help raise money for awareness and to help support their families back home.
For Ndekwe, this event is more than just a walk. She came to ACU from Rwanda and has always been driven to help raise awareness for her country.
“For me, this is a great event to plan because I helped plan the first-ever walk in Rwanda that has now become a national event,” Ndekwe said. “It helps me remember the lives of my family and people who died in the 1994 genocide by helping me feel closer to home through these hard times. It was a bit challenging but good to get to connect with some of the Rwandan community here and the Dallas area for feedback and ideas, and hearing them say it was great to finally be able to do was a big motivation for me.”
Ndekwe’s main objective for the event is that it will go beyond just brining ACU’s community together, but that it will leave a lasting effect on all who participate.
“I want us to commemorate the genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda and remember victims of other genocides and mass atrocities,” Ndekwe said. “I want to educate young people about the causes and consequences of genocide and to highlight the role and responsibility young people have to help prevent such atrocities now and in the future. I want to provide a platform from which the youth of the world can speak out and I want to equip the youth with necessary tools and understanding to take a stand against genocide within their own communities and abroad.”