Bugesera Reconciliation Village in Rwanda – Cultural Tours in Rwanda
Bugesera Reconciliation Village in Rwanda : Also known as Mbyo Reconciliation Village, the Bugesera Reconciliation Village that is located one hour’s drive from Kigali city, is a place where offenders and victims, killers and survivors, Hutus and Tutsis live side by side.
Bugesera is a highly rich area with several water features such as Lakes Rweru and Cyohoha (as well as the rivers Nyabarongo and Akanyaru). Despite this, it is an extremely arid environment with dry savannahs, shrubs, and small trees because to its high temperatures, which occasionally cause drought. This explains why, in addition to Kigali International Airport, the Rwandan government is developing an airport in this region.
The Bugesera region includes numerous villages, including Nyamata and Ntarama, which were involved in the 1994 Rwanda Genocide between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes of Rwanda. It effectively broke out in April 1994, after President Habarimanya’s jet was shot down in Kigali, triggering a massive slaughter and deaths.
Many of the women who survived were widowed, and many children were left homeless after losing both of their parents and relatives. Food crops, gardens, and houses were systematically destroyed and burned. The massacres began in early April 1994 and lasted around a hundred days, until the Hutu Power movement was defeated in mid-July.
The mood was no longer that of home, with just the sounds of sobbing widows and orphans barely audible, but jubilations from the victorious party and rifle rounds filling the air. Hunger subsequently affected the survivors’ families since there was nothing left to eat and they felt unsafe moving around and looking for food. This resulted in widespread hunger and illness as people sought refuge in the woods and forests. The strong were able to flee to neighboring nations, leaving the poor with little choice but to die.
Discover the actual history of the reconciliation village – a traditional past full of genocide murders, tragedies, crime and scandal, and today’s life. Not only did the genocide steal human lives, but it also ruined the livelihoods of countless people. Victims were unable to return to their villages.
Perpetrators who had been imprisoned had nowhere to go, so officials established six Reconciliation Villages, including Mbyo, where more than 400 occupants are presently residing. Members of the Bugesera reconciliation villages comprise past genocide offenders, genocide survivors who were often harmed by the same perpetrators, returnees and other vulnerable families.
Residents in this hamlet, like those in other communities administered by PF Rwanda, have gone beyond forgiveness to begin on a road of reconciliation. Former offenders and genocide survivors have been aided in the process of repentance and forgiveness over the years, whereby, based on former offenders’ confessions and survivors’ willingness to sit together for dialogues, they have been able to overcome a bitter and painful past, positioning themselves to improve their psychological resilience and living conditions through collective introspection.
A dancing chorus of survivors and offenders, as well as a cooperative, are present. A guided genuine tour to Mbyo allows you to have a better understanding of this one-of-a-kind location. This needs at least a day to feel the dramatic realism of this area, which adds unique relevance to the tourist activities carried out here, extending between genocide horrors and perplexing modern challenges.
Listen to both victims and perpetrators discuss their experiences, sentiments, and emotions. Acquire a true feeling of place via active participation in a variety of activities ranging from agriculture to interaction with residents, acquiring cooking and weaving instruction from locals, to a “get together party” with all community members in a reconciliation village. Wonder at the tenacity, the perseverance, the beauty, and the love for Rwandans—how they turn every social contact into a reason to have a celebration with friends who abused one other through the upheaval.
For a visit to the Mbyo reconciliation village in Bugesera – Rwanda, book with us a safari to Rwanda and get an opportunity to experience Rwanda’s unique cultures and natural beauty at its best.