Alice's story

The 1994 genocide has left deep scars in Rwandan society, which are being passed down to the younger generation.

International Alert runs ‘peace clubs’ to bring together all those affected by the genocide to share their experiences and feelings and, in doing so, start to heal as a community.

Here, Alice, aged 19 from Mukindo in southern Rwanda, shares her story.

"I didn’t witness the genocide, as I was born when it had ended. But I witnessed and experienced the effects long after the war was over.

"At a very early age I was taught who I could speak to – on the way to fetch water, on the way to church. I was forbidden to be friends with other children. In fact I was taught how to identify the Rwandese tribes through their physical appearances.

"I used to identify people stereotypically, but no longer, because of the teachings of the peace club. I began to understand these differences were propaganda. Put a Tutsi, Hutu and Twa together and cut each of them, they would all bleed red.

"The peace club has enabled me to understand the intrinsic benefits of reconciliation, and this helps also helps me to support my mother and help her release the burden of her old divisive prejudices.

"My ambition is to be a member of parliament, because they have a strong influence over the direction of the country."

By donating £5 a month, you could help us run more peace clubs like the one Alice attends, enabling young people in Rwanda to move forward and rebuild their lives together. Donate here today.

Photo: Alice stands in front of a blackboard in her school with the word ‘amahoro’ (peace) on it, Rwanda, 2014. © Carol Allen-Storey for International Alert