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  • Angie Kotler

APIE and UPS at the Ubumuntu Arts Festival

This year, Aegis Trust named Umubano Primary School the Lead School for Peace, so the opportunity to take part in the Ubumuntu Arts Festival at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre was welcomed and embraced in the spirit of sharing messages of partnership, connection and hope for the future.

The festival is an annual celebration that aims to ‘create an avenue where people from different walks of life can come together and speak to each other in the language of Art.' Ubumuntu - which means humanity in Kinyarwanda - celebrates all that connect us and sustains us; a powerful and uplifting message. As Desmond Tutu once said: "I am because you are, you are because I am: we are human together."

The students of Umubano Primary School, thanks to the generosity of our new partner, Heather Randall, had the most wonderful opportunity to work with US musician Alexander Star and Rwandan singer Andy Bumuntu to compose and perform a song that speaks of hope and the future, entitled Show me the Way.

UPS Students perform with Alexander Star and Andy Bumuntu

As each year passes, there is more reason to believe that the horrors of Rwanda’s past will never be repeated. However, they will not be forgotten; scars will always remain, but this young generation of Rwandans are taking their responsibility to continue rebuilding their country seriously. Education plays a critical role in this, and the expressive arts are included as a powerful way to express and share thoughts and feelings in a way that connects us all, allowing us to create a new story.

“Music can build the world positively and it can inspire people to not give up. I want to be a singer and songwriter when I am older and be of service to people through music, like Star. I want my songs to help people with the message ‘never give up.’”

- Favour Hoziana, P6 student at Umubano Primary School

At Umubano Primary School, the staff work hard to ensure that all children achieve their academic potential whilst also focusing on everyone’s well-being, rights and responsibilities of citizenship and inclusion of all. Students learn to work hard, play hard and also, importantly, care for each other and their community. This is why Aegis have named Umubano Primary School as Rwanda’s first Lead School for Peace as part of a new programme of peace education to be designed and delivered over the next four years.

We look forward to more uplifting moments and more opportunities to work in international and local partnership. If you would like to know more about Umubano School or the partnership work on peace education with Aegis Trust please get in touch with Head Teacher Jean de Dieu Dusingize, or APIE Country Director Amy Barnecutt.

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