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2006.11.16
Cameras set up, translators take to their boxes, the mineral water’s in place . . . another talking shop is about to start. But the delegates work shows that this is a very different sort of conference. These little leaders are daring to speak out to politicians and take their place at the table of power. They want to know why adults have not done a better job and listened to the children. Rwanda is still in the shadow of its own nightmare. The genocide of 1994 claimed the lives of nearly a million, a third were children. Today’s young survivors demanded and got an apology from government at the first Children’s Summit two years ago. Erick was just six years old when he witnessed the massacre of his parents. He says adults divided and deceived children: Soundbite, English, Sarah Crowe, UNICEF Correspondent: “Tell me what happened to your family.” Soundbite, French, Erick Kanyemera, 17, genocide orphan: “If I start talking about it, it would be shock to my heart. It is not easy. We the children were the victims of genocide. Hutus killed our own parents so and the adults have left that legacy of that genocide ideology to their children.” Soundbite, English, UNICEF Representative in Rwanda, Bintou Keita: “Democracy starts with kids if you are able to educate kids from the earliest stage on how to deal with conflict, how to be tolerant, how to have an environment where there is peace, unity and reconciliation. Nobody is saying that it will be easy.” As children took the first step in democracy, politicians started to listen and at the end of the summit agreed to set up an independent national commission for children. There have been some significant gains since the last summit – primary school is free now and children’s voices are starting to be heard. But there’s a way to go create a Rwanda truly fit for children. *** Asset Name : UNICEF: Rwanda’s children speak out Asset Duration: 02 min 15 secs Shoot City: Kigali Shoot Country: Rwanda Shoot Date: Jan 19 2006
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