On Saturday, 22nd November 2014, the University of Rwanda/Huye Campus officially launched the activities of the National Service by organizing a special community work commonly known as Umuganda in Kinyarwanda. This comes in the framework of the National Service in Higher Learning institutions launched by the Right Hon. Prime Minister on 1st October 2014.
The community work carried out consisted of cleaning the campus whereby students and staff of UR Huye were joined by the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance of the University of Rwanda (UR) together with the Governor of the Southern Province. Though students started the National service activities at the campus, the Dean of students/UR Huye campus, Mr. Benjamin Bahizi Kageruka revealed that this was in view of the official launch but almost all national service activities will be conducted out of the campus to lend a hand to the population in different communities.
Mr. Claude Bahati Munyaneza, the Guild President of the students’ union explained that the activity of removing bushes in the premises of campus was important given that those bushes were accommodating mosquitoes which were responsible of malaria to endanger students’ health. He added that those bushes were also serving as a cover to thieves who steal students’ assets.
Principal of the College of Arts and Social Sciences(CASS) who is also the Resident Principal of UR Huye Campus, Dr. Usta Kaitesi commended students and staff for their attendance in umuganda and the contribution of each and everyone to the objective of this exercise. She said: “I thank all of you for your massive attendance and your zealous participation. We are also grateful to the Governor of the Southern Province and UR DVC, Army and Police officials who joined us. Today’s community work was unique and its outcome is positive.” Dr. Kaitesi concluded her address by encouraging students to continue the journey they have already started of serving the nation by exploiting their youthful energy.
In his speech, the Deputy Vice chancellor of Administration and Finance of UR, Mr. Pudence Rubingisa affirmed that students’ umuganda activities testify the will to put into practice what students committed at the launch of the National service in higher learning institutions. “When students organize community work like this one, it’s a good sign to meet objectives of the National service in higher learning institutions which was launched earlier here. Among the major pillars of the National Service includes initiatives that seek to find solutions to different challenges that students face. Keep it up, you are in the right way”, stated Mr. Rubingisa. He added that the national service activities will be performed across all the campuses of the University of Rwanda.
The Governor of the Southern Province, Mr. Alphonse Munyentwari praised students for their community work activities since this nurtures the culture of fighting for the common interest among youth. Governor Munyentwari said: “Some problems we had in the past which led to the Genocide against Tutsi were caused by the prioritization of self interest. Community work activities help to cultivate the common interest spirit which we missed in the past because for instance those who orchestrated the Genocide against Tutsi were short of the common interest spirit.”
During this community work exercise, in addition to the UR DVC/Finance and Administration, students and staff of UR Huye Campus were joined by other officials including the Regional Police Commander, the Representative of Southern Province Army Division Commander and the Vice Mayor of Huye District/Finance and Administration.