Rwandan Peacekeepers in CAR Take Umuganda to Schools

Rwandan police peacekeepers serving under the United Nations Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA) conducted Umuganda at the weekend where they cleaned a school to promote sanitation and hygiene.

The peacekeepers extended the home-grown solutions to College De LA Paix where they were joined by the students, their parents and the teaching staff to clear bushes and create water channels to prevent flooding in the school.

The school is located in the Boeing sector in the capital Bangui, which is under the protection of the Rwandan police peacekeepers.

The head-teacher of the school Mamadu Adoum described the communal exercise as “valuable and a lesson of partnership and unity to the young people.”

“This is a valuable culture to our students and the young people in general, who are the hope of this country in the future. You have showed them how to be solutions to the challenges, and as teachers and parents, we value that a lot,” Mamadu said.

While expressing their gratitude to the Rwandan peacekeepers for initiating the exercise and choosing their school, the headmaster said that they will adopt Umuganda as part of the school disciplines.

One of the teachers, Chalin, said: “We read about the history of Rwanda, the bloody conflicts your country went through and the path of transformation… democracy, good governance and security that defines Rwanda today should be an example to others.”

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Elias Mwesigye, the coordinator of Rwandan police peacekeepers in CAR, explained that Umuganda is a Rwandan tradition to respond to socio-economic challenges.

“Rwanda went through one of the worst forms of conflicts – the Genocide – but Rwandans decided to reunite after the liberation. Rwandans decided to take the path of unite and reconciliation to reconstruct their country and Umuganda is one of the home-grown solutions to drive the agenda of transformation,” ACP Mwesigye said.

He added: “Umuganda is one of the national values that enhances the sense of peace, builds trust and confidence among the people.”

There are about 450 Rwandan police peacekeepers serving in MINUSCA, with 420 of them composed of two Formed Police Units (FPUs) contingents and one Protection Support Unit (PSU).

Tricia Ishimwe