Charity's event to learn lessons from genocide against the Tutsi

Eric Eugene Murangwa with his MBE medal, awarded by the Prince of Wales, following an investiture ce

Eric Eugène Murangwa with his MBE medal in 2018 - Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA

A Holocaust charity will raise awareness of genocide by sharing its platform with a footballer who survived the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

The event organised by Generation 2 Generation (G2G) on May 10 will bring together charities that work to eradicate genocide by raising awareness to the effects of discrimination and racism.

Golders Green-based G2G exists to ensure that the lessons of the Holocaust are learned by sharing survivors' stories through their families.

The upcoming talk deals with the 1994 genocide in Rwanda where 800,000 Tutsi people were killed in 100 days. Research by the country's government puts the overall figure higher at 1,074,017.

Former Rwandan footballer Eric Eugène Murangwa will speak about his survival of the genocide - something he owes to his sporting career.

Eric was a goalkeeper, playing for Rayon Sports, and during the genocide his fellow players protected him.

His charity, the Ishami Foundation, shares the same mission as G2G: commemorating genocides and giving the second and third generation the chance to share their families' experiences.

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Organiser and G2G trustee Anita Peleg said she is thrilled to be able to share the story of Rwanda.

"We hope to continue being able to offer opportunities for other victims of genocides to be able to talk under our banner," she said.

“The story of Rwanda is terrible but what is most remarkable is how they’re building bridges because they need to live together.

“We feel very strongly that lessons from the Holocaust can help young people understand what the seeds of discrimination and racism can develop into, and so it is only right for us to offer opportunities to organisations talking about other genocides”

Anita Peleg speaking at Kings College 

Anita Peleg speaking at Kings College - Credit: King's College London

During the event Eric will talk of the challenges since the genocide, the process of Rwanda’s reconciliation and how his charity has played a role.

He emphases the importance of attending as genocide is a matter that not only concerns “Rwandans and Jewish people” but also “the whole of humanity”.

Eric said that collaborations like this need to happen more often to teach the history of the Holocaust and prevent modern genocides.

“Keeping the promise of #neveragain (a site dedicated to fighting against genocide) we need to ensure that people all take responsibility so that collectively we can stop genocides.

“Talks like this will reduce the ignorance that still exists around these issues and will help prevent the denial which has always been there with the Jewish holocaust, and is there now with the Tutsi genocide,” he said.

Joining Eric and Anita will be Dr James Smith, co-founder of the UK’s only Holocaust museum, the National Holocaust Centre and Aegis Trust, which works to prevent genocide and mass atrocities globally. He will begin the talk at 7pm.

James, who was born into a Christian family, together with his parents and brother dedicates his life to education against genocide.

“If we can eradicate smallpox, put men on the moon, and decipher the human genome, surely we can learn to stop killing each other.

“We prevent epidemics because we know the factors that cause them and since we can identify the factors for genocide, we should be able to prevent that too," said James.

G2G provides schools, religious, community and civic institutions with speakers who have a personal connection with Holocaust survivors. It trains speakers to deliver engaging and age-appropriate presentations to a variety of audiences, using survivor testimony, artefacts and audio-visual tools.

The charity also works in collaboration with other groups, organisations and charities engaged in Holocaust education and education against racism.

The event is on May 10, from 7pm to 8.15pm. Tickets are free and can be booked at https://www.generation2generation.org.uk/news/events/

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