Arsenal fans in Rwanda under their umbrella organization, the Rwanda Arsenal Fan Club (RAFC) on Friday 17th April 2020 delivered emergency relief donation to 430 family members grouped in 86 households settled in the village of Kigarama, Jali Sector of Gasabo district.
With the guidance and blessing of local authorities; City of Kigali, CNLG, FARG and MINISPOC, this is the 6th year in a row that this group of sports lovers stand in solidarity with survivors of the Genocide against Tutsi during the commemoration period.
“Looking at the Kwibuka26 commemoration period and current crisis (coronavirus) that we are facing, we realized that our relatives and friends who lost their beloved ones during the Genocide against Tutsi, could be facing an even greater challenge during this COVID19 lockdown that was implemented as a preventive measure to curb the spread of this corona virus.” Kevin Aaron Mwami, the president of RAFC said as they handed over relief items which included of essential foodstuff and hygiene materials to the families.
“That is in addition to the long-term consequences of the genocide that they have and still endure. So, we rushed to gather our usual efforts from within ourselves and come up with solutions and means that could constitute as relief during these days”, Mwami added.
“We also know that some of you were daily wage earners. There might be some specific needs that they have that we do not know, so in addition to the package, we’ve also topped it with a simple token of cash to each household for their own expense.”
One of the beneficiaries, Felicita Kabasinda, told Newtimes that she is happy because of the contibution by Arsenal fans. “I am glad you have visited us. Seeing young people doing such good deeds gives me hope that our country is in good hands. I call upon all Rwandans especially young ones to love their country. Next time you return to visit us, i will have prepared a poem for you” the 82 year-old said.
In the package, each family received 10kg of rice, 2 liters of cooking oil, 10kg of maize flour, 5kg of sugar and 10kg of beans.
Besides many other developmental and recreative activities organized over the years, annually, the RAFC conduct activities to remember and honor the beloved lost during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi as well as support their surviving families. These activities also include visits to different genocide memorial centers and contributing towards their maintenance, sensitization sessions and lectures for the Fan Club members to reflect and lay ground to ensure genocide never happens again and fight any genocide ideologies.
The group closely works with the Genocide Survivors Assistance Fund (FARG), to continuously identify the neediest genocide survivor families and communities and partake in delivering sustainable support.
Last year,RAFC donated a commercial greenhouse and mushroom seedlings to elderly survivors in Kinyinya sector, in 2018 renovated 2 houses for widowed elderly survivors in Bugesera district, in 2017 sponsored Health insurance for over 200 families and renovated one house for a survivor in Gasabo district, in 2016 provided livestock (goats) for 25 families in Kayonza District and in 2015 supported survivors in Nyanza District with 200 livestock.
Founded in 2013 and formalized in 2015, the Rwanda Arsenal Fan Club is currently made up of over 1,000 members who live by the adage – Be A Gooner, Be A Giver, as they promote and participate in socio-economic development programs, sports, governance, domestic tourism (Visit Rwanda) and culture promotion in and outside Rwanda.