All posts by Mimi Frank

Archive Communication Officer

Introducing Egide Ndagijimana – The Youth Together for Peace

Ndagijimana EgideEgide Ndagijimana was born in 1989 in Nyamasheke District, ruharambuga village in Rwanda. He completed his high school studies at the Group Scholaire de Nyamasheke. Unfortunetly he wasn’t able to take his studies further due to lack of funds.

Egide was amongst the selected youth who were trained in the youth champion program that was organised by The Aegis Trust in 2014. They were trained in leadership skills, advocacy, continuum violence and continuum of benevolence. These trainings aimed at nurturing the youth about peace building and encouraging them in carrying out peace building activities. After these trainings, they are required to start up peace building activities as well as projects in their perspective communities: Egide started up a club called ‘’urungano rubaga amahoro’’ which has 43 members. He hoped that by starting up this club, he would be able to have a positive impact in his community and engage his fellow youth in peace building activities.

Egide and his club members began by constructing two houses for two genocide survivors, Nyirahabimana Regine and Stansilas Ngarukiye in the Munini sector, Nyamasheke district.

‘’ I am grateful for the act that these young people did and I cannot seize to encourage them to do exceedingly to what they have done and mentor their fellow youth.’’ Ngarukiye Stansilas, a Survivor of the Genocide.

The Youth in Egide’s community also organise friendly football tournaments frequently and plays in different areas; these gather over 100 people. Egide and his young supporters use these types of gatherings to also teaching about peace building, its activities and creating awareness about the roles of the youth in peace building.

’’ “Being part of the youth champion programme was the motive behind my success in projects and activities regarding peace building. This has also enabled me to train to the youth about peace building.” Egide Ndagijimana.

Introducing Epiphanie – Your peace is my Peace

epiphanieResident in the nothern province, Rulindo district, in the Rukozo sector,  Epiphanie Musengimana is a 22 years old Rwandan lady that is a devoted peace builder that represents the youth and the women in her community. She was born in 1994 and is the second of two children: She attended the ‘Ecole Primaire de Rukozo’ in her early years and later completed her six years of high school at the ‘Ecole Secondaire St Jean Baptiste de Burehe’.

in 2014 Epiphanie was among young people who were selected to attend the youth champions  trainings , that were conducted by The Aegis Trust’s youth department. These trainings are aimed at teaching a select number of youth about peace building, leadership, and engaging their creativity to lay out useful peace projects in their perspective communities.

“to be honest when they told me that i was one of the chosen people to attend the trainings, i felt very happy and kept asking my self why I was the one and not others, without knowing what we were going to be learning there, it made me so  happy in a way i can not explain .” Epiphanie said.

After completing the trainings, Epiphanie returned home and created a cooperative with the help of her fellow classmates which they called “COYABICYU”. The cooperative engages in peace building activities like delivering rountable peace discussions in their village aout different topics and helping people in need by either providing them foods or other materials and domestic annimals to help them improve their standards of living. which will continue gradually as time passes. Epiphanie has high hopes for a peaceful Rwanda if the peace building method the youth are using is applied to communities all over the country.



Introducing Joseph Mugenzi – Seeking for Truth

egide..Joseph Mugenzi is a 24 years old person who was born, raised and living in Nganda cell, Musaza sector, Kirehe district in the western province of Rwanda. Joseph is the third born in a family of six kids and he lives with his parents. He went to school at Groupe Scolaire Gacuba for his primary studies and later attended Rusumo High school to finish his secondary studies: Due to lack of funds or other means Joseph never had a chance to continue his university studies.

In September 2015, Joseph was invited to attend the youth champions trainings, these trainings are meant to empower young people from different communities around the country with leadership, public speaking, advocacy and project management skills.

“I remember that it was around 10:00 am when I received a phone call from our district youth officer asking me if I am interested in attending a youth training at the Kigali genocide memorial. He didn’t specify what the trainings were all about but I immediately accepted because since my young age I always dreamed to visit the memorial.” Joseph explained. Later on he was contacted by one of The Aegis Trusts’ staff members and briefed on the trainings: “ I learnt a lot in the youth champions training than I expected, I didn’t know anything about peace building but I got to learn what peace is and my role in peace building” Joseph said.

The youth champions program is designed in a way that after the young people complete their training, they go back to their communities and start peace building project through which they can practice what they learnt and gain more knowledge.

After the trainings Joseph went back home and wrote a project proposal that he submitted to The Aegis Trust. Even before receiving funds for his project he went ahead and started reaching out to his community.

“Just one week after the trainings I was invited to a meeting of heads of villages and I requested for some minutes to tell them what I’d learnt from the trainings, I talked for 30 minutes and they liked it so much that they invited me in other meetings.” Joseph declared. He also started organizing public talks and discussion in schools and community halls with the youth and elders in the community.

“I loved sharing my experience and engaging others in discussions but I came to realize that I need more knowledge about the history of my country because there were so many questions that kids could ask me that I could not respond to. That’s how I came with an idea of coming back to the Kigali Genocide Memorial to learn more about the history of genocide” Joseph said. With the help of his fellow youth champions in his community, He started planning the community group visit to the memorial.


the trip was organised for the 16 March 2016 where over 200 people had signed up.

“To me the memorial is a learning center which not only teaches about the history but also guides us on how to prepare for our future. I am very thankful to The Aegis Trust for empowering me and helping me to discover the potential that I have in me. I urge the young people in this country to be more dynamic and curious about what is going around them. For example I didn’t know anything about peace building or even the history of genocide before I was trained but now I know a lot of things and I even teach others…” Joseph stated.

Providing access to genocide documentation: learning through teaching

The team tile resizedWhen I first joined Aegis Trust as the archive projects coordinator, I was both excited and nervous about working for an organisation that dealt with documenting such a sensitive issue as the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. I experienced the genocide from a distance, having lost most of my mother’s family members to it and watching my mother cry herself to sleep every night, knowing she could do nothing to save them except pray for a miracle.

I feel that being indirectly affected by the genocide, but also having some distance from it, allowed me to have multiple perspectives of the events of 1994. Having lived abroad from the longest and wildest beaches of the southern hemisphere in Port-Shepstone South Africa, to the neutral beauty of Switzerland, I have heard stories and opinion on the history of Rwanda from the deepest south to the glamorous north. And now, once again, I find myself back at the centre of the Earth, back home in Rwanda: right at the source of the genocide where the truth can be dug up.

I am so proud to be a part of Aegis Trust and contribute to what it does. By working with the Genocide Archive of Rwanda, I am able to not only learn about the genocide, but also be part of something bigger: documenting the genocide and providing access to this information online to millions of users globally.

My main task in the archive is to oversee the development of content for our website in partnership with our devoted communications team. We update the site as frequently as possible, select photographs and other archive items and keep our followers up-to-date with our activities, projects and upcoming events through social media. I also act as the middle-woman between upper management and our local and international partners. Our good relationships with these partners mean we have a lots of new projects lined up. We are never bored here at the archive. Every day brings new challenges.

What has made my job even more enjoyable, despite the fact that we work with emotionally challenging collections, is that we have a dynamic working environment where humour is still very much alive and friendship is strong.

But the reason for all of us being here remains the same: to document the genocide against the Tutsi and to make it accessible to the world, now, and for future generations. Time does not stand still. With every year that passes since 1994, our work of preservation and education becomes even more important.

Mimi Frank coordinates archive department projects and events. She is the intermediary between the Genocide Archive of Rwanda, international partners and supporting organisations.