HON.MIN. UWACU JULIENE COMMENDS ‘HOLIDAYS IN MUSEUMS’ PROGRAM
‘Igihugu kitagira umuco kiracika’, implying that a country that has no cultural foundation is baseless. These were the opening words by Hon. Minister of Sports and Culture – Mrs. Julienne Uwacu at the closing ceremony of ‘Holidays in Museums’ program which took place on December 23, 2016 at the Ethnographic Museum – Huye District; a program that saw about 189 children gain skills in various traditional activities as well as cultural values.
With the company of distinguished guests including Southern Province Governor, State Minister in Charge of Primary and Secondary Education, Huye District Mayor, Rwanda Museums DG and Southern Province Regional Police Commander; Honorable Uwacu was welcomed by children with beautiful traditionally made flowers, as they ushered her to their working stations.
Hon. Minister of Sports and Culture was astonished by how professionally children presented their traditional skills through various products they made in the two weeks program. Among many skills children exhibited were traditional cow poetry (kuvugira inka), milk churning (gucunda), dancing, singing, beading, weaving, etc. They concluded their presentation with theatrical play on how the traditional Rwanda families celebrated their annual achievements as well as traditional marriage ceremonies. It was an event worth attending.
Besides the cultural values attained, students affirmed that the skills gained will not only help them be responsible future citizens but also improve their social – economic development because they could use them for income generation. “I have seen many people earn a lot of money through dancing at wedding ceremonies, even these products we are making like baskets, post cards, frames and others cost a lot of money when they are perfectly done. I aim at carrying my singing and dancing skills to another level, alongside studies just for future income generation’’ asserts Uwase Descendant, a 13 year old passionate child.
Amb. Robert Masozera also emphasized that he was overwhelmed by the passion these children portrayed. He said this in His welcome remarks, when he highlighted that this program proves that Museums are not only places to go for leisure or tourism but also for education and career development. He went further to mention that the special carnival that children participated in on December 16, 2016 led to an increased number of children from 150 to 189, hence applauded parents and children for the zeal to uphold their culture. ‘I am impressed by children’s love for what they have been learning throughout the two weeks and I am certain it will stay forever in their hearts, mind and blood because our culture is so strong,’ he said. He added that education is not only attained from going to school.
In her concluding remarks, Hon. Minister Uwacu gave a thumbs up to trainers of these children, parents, partners including Huye District Mayor, Governor of the Southern Province, Ministry of Education, Rwanda National Police and all the other partners who in one way or the other contribute to positive parenting; She in a special way applauded children for their patriotic spirit, encouraging them to pass these values to the next generations. She urged them to be ambassadors of their country as they grow up into future leaders.
Hon. Minister Uwacu highlighted that beginning of next year, the Ministry of Education will include cultural education on the syllabus in order to grant children an opportunity to discover and cherish their heritage from a tender age.
In a special message to Rwanda Museums management, Hon. Minister Uwacu recommended that this annual program should be held in all the museums hence reach an even bigger number of children at the same time. Hon. Minister Uwacu also expressed her blissful feeling about the program on her twitter account, when she wrote: ‘Congz to INMR, our culture is our identity; the bright future is in the hands of a well educated youth’
Rwanda Museums is proud to contribute to the positive parenting through this particular program and other programs dedicated for children. The journey continues.