“We worked together and as we grew closer overtime our parents slowly started to interact with each other”
Florence Twambazimana, is a young businesswoman and a shareholder of a youth-led cooperative in Rwanda . She shares her story of having grown up in a reconciliation village, where genocide perpetrators are neighbours with genocide survivors. She describes the challenges she has overcome to make it her life’s purpose to promote peace and entrepreneurship in her community.
Florence Twambazimana is a young businesswoman and shareholder of a youth-led cooperative specialised in hairdressing, tailoring and welding, operating in remote area of Bugesera District, eastern Rwanda. The cooperative brings together both children of genocide survivors and genocide perpetrators. Twambazimana and her fellow cooperative members are among young people who benefited from Interpeace’s Societal Healing Programme that empowered them to become active agents of peace, social cohesion, and economic development in their communities.
They were equipped with socio-emotional skills to manage their psychological distress and be able to help others as well as hands-on skills to improve their livelihoods. They were empowered to work together, using those skills, to positively bring positive change to their lives and in their communities.
As a descendant of survivors of the Genocide committed against the Tutsi in 1994, she didn’t imagine running a joint business with descendants of those she feared and hated much.
Twambazimana believes that if young people are mentally and economically empowered, they play a pivotal role in building peaceful, cohesive, and resilient communities.