Kigali Genocide Memorial Ground is the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi. The memorial ground was open up for tourism and other visitors to visit the museum after its completion in 2004, a process that began in 1999 when the City of Kigali provided land where a place of remembrance could be built and where victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi could receive a dignified burial. Construction of the Kigali Genocide Memorial began in the same year and the process of burying victims began in 2001. This was supported the following organization that played a major role in the set up of the museum.
- The City of Kigali
- Aegis Trust
- Rwanda’s National Commission for the Fight against Genocide
- Ministry of Sports and Culture
- Various governments and international non-government organisations
Today, what was a mass burial ground of the victim of the genocide incident, has turned up to be one of the great museum in the world, known as the world’s largest collection of archival material and testimonies, the museum has become a big part of Rwanda’s major tourism attraction, attracting number of tourist to the country who does come to visit and get to know the history of the genocide and how Rwanda has coped up with it.
Indeed its part of major gorilla safaris and other wildlife safaris whereby the city tour to visit the Kigali Genocide memorial is always included before the safari as one head for his safari or after safari before one is dropped at the airport. The Genocide Archive of Rwanda is the world’s largest collection of archival material and testimonies related to the Genocide against the Tutsi, this has greatly attracted many tourist to visit the museum. Number of school going students also do visit the memorial ground to have first hand information about the genocide which happened years back and also witness its impact.
Its central location and nearness to the city center and airport has made its access quite easy.
Today the memorial is funded and managed by Aegis Trust on behalf of the National Commission for the Fight against the Genocide. Also the donation by the tourist upon their visit has greatly supported the well maintenance of the museum as the funds generated are used in the today daily management of the museum activities and staffing.
About Kigali Genocide Memorial
The Kigali Genocide Memorial includes three permanent exhibitions, the largest of which documents the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. There is also a children’s memorial and an exhibition on the history of genocidal violence around the world. The education centre, gardens, and Genocide Archive of Rwanda contribute to a meaningful tribute to those who perished, and provide a powerful educational experience for visitors.
Genocide Archive Of Rwanda
The Genocide Archive of Rwanda is a collaborative project of the Kigali Genocide Memorial, Aegis Trust, and Rwanda’s National Commission for the Fight against Genocide. The objective of the archive is to document the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. The archive has a physical repository as well as website accessible around the world. The interactive online digital archive contains materials that document the causes, lived experiences, and aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The site features video testimonies from genocide survivors and rescuers, perpetrator testimonies from the Gacaca court proceedings, footage from annual remembrance ceremonies (Kwibuka), archival photographs, colonial documents, identification records, maps, foreign serials and propaganda publications.
This is the only project of its kind in Rwanda and allows previously inaccessible material to be consulted for personal, educational, and research purposes. The physical materials that make up the archives have been contributed by survivors and partner organisations. The physical collection of the Genocide Archive Rwanda is accessible at the Kigali Genocide Memorial.
The memorial has five primary objectives :
- To provide a dignified place of burial for victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi
- To inform and educate visitors about the causes, implementation and consequences of the genocide, and other genocides throughout history.
- To teach visitors about what we can do to prevent future genocides.
- To provide a documentation centre to record evidence of the genocide, testimonies of genocide survivors and details of genocide victims.
- To provide support for survivors, in particular orphans and widows.
The Kigali Genocide Memorial is the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi. It is an important place of remembrance and learning and receives visitors from all around the world. The memorial has five primary objectives :
1. To provide a dignified place of burial for victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi
2. To inform and educate visitors about the causes, implementation and consequences of the genocide, and other genocides in history.
3. To teach visitors about what we can do to prevent future genocides.
4. To provide a documentation centre to record evidence of the genocide, testimonies of genocide survivors and details of genocide victims.
5. To provide support for survivors, in particular orphans and widows.
The Genocide Archive of Rwanda’s collection contains over 8,000 photographs, videos and documents related to the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. Materials about pre-genocide history and post-genocide reconciliation and recovery initiatives in Rwanda are also included. Browse through and search to find specific content that may be of interest to you.
Every year, thousands of Rwandan and international students visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial. The students are guided through the memorial to learn about the causes, reality and consequences of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. They are also taught about the importance of remembering genocide so that it can never happen again.
The education programmes run at the memorial share an important message of remembrance, peace, and personal responsibility. Visiting students learn about the unique efforts Rwanda has undertaken to overcome the challenges since 1994 and to foster a sense of shared national identity.
A typical education programme at the memorial includes the following components :
1. Rwandan History : A group discussion on the economic, political and social factors that lead to conflict and violence.
2. Genocide : An interactive session that asks questions including, ‘What is genocide ?’, ‘How can it happen ?’ and ‘How do ordinary people become perpetrators ?’
3. Understanding the ‘Continuum of Violence :’ A set of interactive discussions on analysing violence and decision making to comprehend how it happens.
4. The Consequences of Genocide : A question and answer session on the challenges faced by individuals and society after genocide and how to overcome them.
5. The Road to Peace : An interactive session that asks the question, ‘How is it possible to have sustainable peace after genocide ?’ and tells the stories of peacemakers helping to rebuild their communities.
All education sessions at the Kigali Genocide Memorial are participatory to ensure students get the most out of their experience and take the lessons home with them.
The memorial’s education programme is currently undergoing an expansion thanks to the construction of four new classrooms that were opened in April 2014 at the 10th anniversary of the memorial. Each year, the memorial receives thousands of students.
A tour of the entire memorial takes approximately one hour and thirty minutes. The visit could take longer, depending on the size of your group. The Kigali Genocide Memorial welcomes visitors 365 days a year. However, there may be circumstances that require the memorial to be closed temporarily (e.g security reasons for VIP visitors). In the case of unexpected closures, all bookings are reviewed and visitors or tourism companies are contacted ahead of time to make alternative arrangements.
The memorial is open seven days a week, however on the last Saturday of every month, the memorial is open from 1:00pm to 5:00pm due to Umuganda, when all Rwandans meet to undertake community work. You can learn more about Umuganda at Rwandapedia. Refreshments are available from the Memorial Cafe. The cafe has a wide range of food and drinks on offer and proceeds go towards supporting the work of the memorial. You can view the cafe menu here.
‘Café du Memorial’ and the souvenir shop at the Kigali Genocide Memorial are small-scale social enterprises. They were been developed by young Rwandans wanting to change their livelihoods, support others and give meaning to their work. The income generated from these social enterprises is invested back into the memorial to support the preservation of archives and to run education programmes the memorial.
The products sold at the souvenir shop have been custom made for the Kigali Genocide Memorial by a local cooperative made up of widows of the Genocide against the Tutsi. The cooperative was founded in 2006 and makes a range of high quality arts and crafts for local and international customers. Called, ‘Ubumwe’, meaning unity in Kinyarwanda, the cooperative works to preserve the memory of the Genocide and support Rwandan togetherness.
By purchasing something from the souvenir shop, you are supporting survivors of the Genocide to build dignified and prosperous lives
The Kigali Genocide Memorial is a guided experience. Visitors can choose to be guided by one of the staff witnesses or tour around alone on self guide or purchase the KGM digital guide which provides an audio-visual tour of the memorial.
Children below age of 12 years are not allowed to access the museum as this is looked at as may not be good for their health. People above 12 years are allowed to access the museum.
The museum is open for the visitors from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (last entrance is at 4:00pm) 7 days a week except the last Saturday of each month.
On the last Saturday of each month, the memorial is open from 1:00pm to 5:00pm due to Umuganda community work (last entrance is at 4:00pm).
The Umuganda community work, is a kinyarwanda term, this is when the community is involved in the cleaning up of their environment.
The Kigali Genocide Memorial is located in Gisozi, ten minutes drive from the centre of town. The easiest way to reach the memorial is by car or through making arrangement with our company reservation team, who will include this as part of the city tour. Just email us at [email protected].
For any safari tour, or visit to Kigali Memorial ground as part of your Kigali city tour or gorilla safari in Rwanda feel free to contact our reservation team, they will arrange something perfect for your interest.