Genocide Against Tutsi caused significant loss of human life and material deprivation. Those who survived continue to experience severe problems, including loss of family, Physical disablement, and psychological trauma. These factors have severe adverse consequences for student survivors, including Hopelessness, social isolation, educational failure, and a high drop-out rate.
Although the genocide happened 23 years ago, its multifarious consequences persist. Some student survivors are still homeless and must stay at school because they do not have anywhere else to go during holidays. They also lack transport, have financial problems, lack Proper sanitation, and have inadequate clothing. Many still suffer intimidation from those who support the ideology behind the genocide.
There is also a big problem for these Students in the job market. Student survivors have created an association to find solutions or remedies to the issues noted above. It is dedicated to providing financial help and moral support and ensuring that survivor students overcome trauma and can fight against this tragic event so that it can never happen again in Rwanda or anywhere else.
Strength is found by joining together, so the students in question decided to create an association to coordinate the resources of student and pupil survivors to overcome the above-stated problems. We have named Association des Etudiants Et Éleves Rescapés du Genocide (AERG).
AERG (Association des Etudiants Et Éleves Rescapés Du Genocide) is an association of student survivors of genocide. Created on 20/10/1996 at format UNR by 12 students, it has quickly grown. Now AERG is represented nationally at 44 Universities and institutes of higher learning and 475 secondary schools in Rwanda, with a total country-wide membership of 43,398.
The national AERG coordination office is based in Kigali and liaises with the AERG University and Secondary School AERG sections. The main mission of AERG is to connect and represent all student survivors (those whose parents and relatives were killed during the Tutsi genocide) involved in higher learning or attending secondary school. Originally, AERG was founded as a support mechanism for genocide orphans studying at secondary and higher institutions.
However, its role has now expanded to cover not only support systems (in the form of artificial families) and morale-boosting activities but also to advocate for the ongoing needs of survivors, supporting them in education (liaising with FARG – Government of Rwanda Assistance Fund for Survivors), with economic issues and onwards towards a productive life. AEG is now dedicated to providing financial support and moral help, fighting genocide ideology, and ensuring students overcome trauma, homelessness, and economic problems. AERG is an organization run by students for students, and many such people are involved voluntarily.
The executive committee at the national office consists entirely of voluntary personnel. AERG does, however, have six paid staff members based at the national coordination office: the Executive Secretary, the Accountant And project coordinators.