About Ntarama Genocide Memorial
East Rwanda, Rwanda
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Take the highly from Kigali (leaving through the Kicukiro neighborhood) out towards Nyamata. Follow the signs for the Ntarama memorial, on the right, before you arrive in Nyamata.
First To Review: La G.
Oct 27, 2008
Unlike the genocide memorial in Kigali this church is far from the urban life. I saw this after I went to the Nyamata church and both sites made me appreciate how the genocide hit small villages and innocent people. The main building once had the bodies of 5,000 people left as they had been killed, but now the bones have been cleaned up. The massive amount of clothing hangs from the walls of the church is overwhelmingly powerful. It baffles me when I think about the number, 5,000. There are other small chapels that were further up the hill. A wall of names was erected with some beautiful landscaping nearby. The guide was friendly and spoke English, but I didn't feel like it was a proper tour. Nevertheless the site speaks for itself. When I asked if I could make a donation there the guide took me to a room that had a basket, no donation sign and the basket was empty! They would at least have a sign indicating that you can make a donation if you would like. I highly recommend this as a stop if you want to appreciate how the genocide hit small and rural villages.
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Oct 22, 2008
When I first arrived in Kigali I went to the Kigali Memorial Centre, and then to the Nyamata genocide memorial, and I thought by that time I was becoming less shocked by all the genocide memorials. When I went to the Ntarama memorial I found this was not so. It is haunting, it is moving, it is incredibly saddening to see the clothing of thousands of genocide victims hanging from the rafters and piled on the floor. A number of skeletons are still piled onto metal shelves in the back of the church. Elsewhere in the memorial compound, there are the remains of a house that was burnt down by the genocidaires when its residents refused to give up the Tutsis they were sheltering. You will understand the genocide much more clearly after seeing this.
The site does take a little bit to find, but it's not actually that difficult - just drive from Kigali towards Nyamata and take the turnoff where the signs for the Ntarama memorial are. The memorial is maybe a kilometer off the main road. Remember to give a donation to the tour guide - I don't think they get a salary otherwise.
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