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  • Laurenne Ajayi

World Humanitarian Day

"World Humanitarian Day is a reminder of the need for all of us to act to alleviate suffering. It is also an occasion to honour the humanitarian workers and volunteers toiling on the front-lines of crises. I pay tribute to these dedicated women and men who brave danger to help others at far greater risk." — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

This year, the theme of World Humanitarian Day - 19 August 2016 - is ‘One Humanity’, highlighting the world’s commitment to supporting people in crisis, and ensuring that humanitarian workers are able to carry out their roles in peace and safety. In a country such as Rwanda, the impact of humanitarian assistance can barely be measured; in the aftermath of the genocide in 1994, the outpouring of support from humanitarian agencies was pivotal in getting the country back on its feet.

On this day of recognition, at APIE we pay tribute not only to humanitarian workers around the world and to our staff who work in Rwanda, but also to our amazing Rwandan patrons, both of whom suffered immeasurably from the genocide, and both of whom humble us with their capacity for resilience, positivity, warmth; their Humanity.

Roger Jean Nsengiyumva is a young actor, who was carried out of Rwanda on his mother’s back in 1994. Living with the history of what his family went through, Roger is committed to using the platform of his acting and film-making to contribute improving the lives of the generation who are growing up in the shadow of the genocide. Most of the children APIE works with have parents who were left traumatised, and are working out how to emerge from this shadow with their humanity intact. Roger is a shining role model for them and us all.

Jean Paul Samputu, world-renowned musician and peace activist, lost his entire family in 1994 when they were killed by their neighbours. With incredible determination and humility, he not only lived through this experience, but has dedicated his life to advocating for peace on the international stage, practising and preaching forgiveness. He has been a key player in supporting the transition of perceptions of Rwanda outside the country, and through his music and words, has helped the whole of Rwanda in its journey to peace.

We thank you both for working with us, giving your time and commitment for the future of a peaceful and prosperous Rwanda.

To find out more about World Humanitarian Day, please see here.

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