I am sure that you have seen these young people in yellow vests all the time since the first day of the Corona Virus in Rwanda until today.
Working in collaboration with the village leaders with the intervention of the National Police, these young boys and girls managed to put us in order during the critical moment when the country was doing its best to contain the spread of COVID 19.
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When we talk about the Yellow Vests/Jackets “Jilets Jaune” we just recognize the popular movement occurred in France during which citizens protest for economic justice in October 2018.
For Rwanda, it is not the same case as it happened in France. Here the Young people in yellow jackets made all possible to control us in a well-organized manner so that we stay safe during the COVID 19 pandemic era.
I had chance to interact with some of them at the local level asking them if they are getting “Akantu” for such service to the nation and surprisingly most of them told me that they are exercising the right to protect the community as volunteers which, of course, means “We don’t work for money or appraisals, what we do is to make the community safe and free of crimes or law violations”.
Even if this service is voluntary, I kept thinking about what do these young people deserve, based on how they strayed on the duty with their mentors from the National policy during the time we were in a panic mood during the COVID 19 early days.
After missing mind on what they deserve that was when I decided to write about my feelings on“Why do these young people needs just a friendly cheers after COVID 19 comes under control!”
I remember in the past years whenever young people completed their Ingando or Itorero, I used to read much from the Internet know it all describing all the young people completing Itorero or Ingando as trained militia who completed military exercises and ready to attack neighbouring countries or ready to be sent abroad for spy services among many other descriptions.
Whenever I met such Internet based misinformation on trained youth I used to overlook the content and leave it without making any comment or wasting my time on such writings, just because me too I had attended Ingando when I was about to start my University Studies and the skills that we got from Ingando always focus on Patriotism and Call to defend the country’s interests in our respective capacities.
I also had not to waste my comment on such social media posts because I knew well that those misinforming the world about the intention of Ingando or Itorero were much aware of the Rwandan culture and the meaning of Itorero or Ingando in our cultural heritage. They are, most of the time, our own citizens or political opportunists always working to tarnish our country’s image probably because they are spiteful about the patriotic behaviours of good citizenship as well as the voluntary culture raising especially among the youth of this country.
May be during this time of COVID 19, those embarrassing politicians or propagandists have realized that the young people in Rwanda also our community policing agents are well trained to protect the country’s lovely citizens from getting contaminated with corona virus, bringing the order in the movements of locals, teaching us to ensure the physical distancing in our markets and bus stations as well as to sensitize us on the importance of wearing facemasks in the era of COVID 19.
Our young people, a big number of them in their 20s or 30s are not militia, spies or armed forces as have been called by the above-mentioned propagandists, rather are our responsible young Citizens with the most solemn bond of serving the country and its citizens during the emergency time and joyful time.
These young people participate in various activities including construction and rehabilitation of houses for the disadvantaged families, construction and rehabilitation of roads linking communities, construction of toilets, and planting trees as part of the afforestation and environmental conservation programme, among many others.
During this time of Corona Virus when all of us were pushed to stay at home because of this deadly virus, the Yellow Vests Volunteers stayed behind us and kept coordinating each activity that were meant for citizens in General or for needy in particular.
They have showed that the patriotism spirit enshrined in their mentors from the National police have also entered inside their flesh and blood.
The way they served the community with the good intention during this COVID 19 time and even before the pandemic should not go unnoticed, thanks to the Rwanda National police and community leaders (My wish) to organize at least one friendly cheers moment to these young people during the Post COVID 19 time in our villages.
While concluding my views today, I wish also to commend such initiatives involving young people in matters of the Nation as I continue to dream also such initiatives being replicated in the whole continent of Africa.
And again, Happy Africa Day to Youth Community Volunteers in Rwanda, local leaders, Rwandans in general and Africa as a whole.
About the Author
DUSABEMUNGU Ange de la Victoire
Experienced Communications Associate with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organization management industry. Skilled in Photography, Multi-media, Twitter, Microsoft Programs, Sales, and Editing. Strong media and communication professional with a Bachelor’s degree focused in Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs from National University of Rwanda. Political and Social Commentator on www.topafricanews.com and other local media1727