The Memorial Centre
In April 2004, on the 10th Anniversary of the genocide that split Rwanda apart, the Kigali Memorial Centre was inaugurated. The Centre provided an opportunity to offer a place in which the bereaved could bury their families and friends, and over 250,000 victims of the genocide are now buried at the site - a clear reminder of the cost of ignorance.
The Centre exists as a permanent memorial to those who fell victim to the genocide, and also as a place for Rwandans to grieve for those they lost.
The Centre includes three permanent exhibitions, the largest of which documents the genocide in 1994. There is also a children's memorial, and an exhibition on the history of genocidal violence around the world. The Education Centre, Memorial Gardens and National Documentation Centre of the Genocide all contribute to a meaningful tribute to those who perished, and form a powerful educational tool for the next generation.
In 2000, the Kigali City Council began to construct the shell of a building, which was eventually to become the Memorial Centre. Aegis was invited to turn the aspiration for a centre into a reality.
The Aegis Trust then began to collect data from across the world to create the three graphical exhibits. The text for all three exhibitions was printed in three languages, designed in the UK at the Aegis head office by their design team, and shipped to Rwanda to be installed.
The Kigali Memorial Centre is an international centre. It deals with a topic of international importance, with far-reaching significance, and is designed to engage and challenge an international visitor base.
The response from genocide survivors to the creation of the Centre was unpredicted. In the first week, over 1,500 survivors visited each day. In the first three months of the Centre's opening, around 60,000 people from a variety of backgrounds visited it. Over 7,000 of these visitors were from the International Community.