‘TRAIN UP A CHILD IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GO AND WHEN HE IS OLD HE WILL NOT DEPART FROM IT’
Rwanda Museums fortifies Proverbs 22: 6 through various programs it dedicated to granting cultural cognition to children.
In a special way, this year Rwanda Museums exhibited its contribution to positive parenting as a foundation of culture. Based on the theme ‘positive parenting, a foundation of culture’, the National Commission for Children in partnership with like – minded Institutions including Rwanda Museums organized a National Summit for Children which involved various activities among which was a one day exhibition on Children Agencies’ achievements in positive parenting.
The exhibition was organized on 6th December 2016 at the National Stadium – Petit Stade ahead of the Summit which took place on the 8th December 2016 at the Rwandan Parliament. Rwanda Museums was proud to let children have direct involvement in organizing and explaining the exhibition content. ‘Holidays in Museums’ program graduates took lead in the demonstration of what a true Rwandan child should be. This was done with the support of the traditional objects and values learnt from the program to explain to their fellow children as well as the High Profile guests that were present including Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, UNICEF Rwanda representative, MINISPOC’s Permanent Secretary, Museums Director General and other participants from various public and private sectors. You could see the passion on their faces as they explained object by object, their importance and how it was maintained by the Rwandan forefathers from centuries back.
Rwanda Museums stand saw thousands of not only children but also elders come to watch, touch and have a hands- on feeling of all the traditional collections exhibited, most of which they had no idea about. Children from across the country were astonished by the sight of unique items including traditional attire (ishabure, inkanda …etc), the traditional dance materials (ingoma, imirishyo...etc), traditional games (igisoro, kunyabanwa .etc), traditional beliefs, values as well as style.With so much confidence, each child explained items assigned to them. Girls demonstrated how milk was traditionally preserved as well as the maintenance of a typical traditional home, whilst boys demonstrated traditional men’s responsibilities as they gracefully recited poems (kuvugira inka) dedicated to cows depicting that Rwandans were pastoralists and that men were supposed to look after cows as one of their main activities. In their lovely traditional attire, holding sticks (inkoni) and grass (inkuyu) as a crystal significance in the Rwandan tradition cattle rearing, children stole the guests’ hearts with the cow poetry. Honorable Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Hon. Esperance Nyirasafari who presided over the launch of this exhibition was so astonished by the children’s desire to keep showcasing their culture. ‘I am really amazed by how they speak with confidence and demonstrate things like mature people.’ She asserted. She commended Rwanda Museums for such an outstanding contribution to the positive parenting. In her remarks during the Press conference, she called upon parents, media, teachers and other people who have direct involvement with children to emulate Rwanda Museums’ initiative. ‘We will not leave cultural education to the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda alone just because it is in charge of culture, we should take it upon ourselves as parents, guardians, teachers, media and the entire Rwandan society to see our children grow up with cultural values because a culture grounded child is future leader of integrity.’ She remarked.Children continuously showed the desire to learn more of their culture. Among their summit’s resolutions, (the 8th and 16th resolutions) children highlighted that they needed to visit all museums and memorial sites across the country in order to discover and cherish their heritage as well as be able to pass it on to the other generations. They also highlighted that there should be cultural contests which they believe will broaden their cultural cognition.