Mrs. Kagame was speaking on Saturday during the Young Leaders Conference, organized by the Rwanda Leaders Fellowship (RLF) with the purpose of bringing young leaders in senior positions to fellowship together, pray for the nation and share the Word of God.
The breakfast aims at bringing together senior leaders from different sectors for a time of mutual encouragement, edification around the word of God, reflecting on Biblical values and principles that encourage leaders to adopt the culture of patriotism, integrity, diligence and to think about the impact of their leadership to the society.
The event brought together people ranging from clerics to ordinary citizens, public and private sector officials who held discussions that focused on building healthy families for a healthy nation.
Through an interactive panel discussion, the participants looked at ways of fighting family breakdowns, the need for proper parenting, among other things that are needed in family life.
Speaking at the event, Mrs. Kagame reminded the participants of how the tragic history of Rwanda demolished the family institution to the ground, leaving behind a sad narrative that could be turned around by people-centered decisions taken by the current government.
“I want to ask you a question as church leaders: What will you do to build on this foundation so that we will have a story that is different from what we had in the past?” she said.
The First Lady took time to encourage married people towards faithfulness, maintaining family values, and being exemplary to their children.
She urged for prayer in families, requesting spouses to pray for each other, encourage each other, and not be controlled by anger when making decisions and put God first.
Augustin Iyamuremye, the President of the Senate who was the guest of honor also weighed in on the importance of families in nation-building.
He called upon Rwandans to be united and work for healthy families, and a healthy nation, drawing lessons from the losses incurred in the tragic genocide against the Tutsi.
“Our country passed through divisionism that stripped people of their humanity to an extent that parents who had to bring up children for the country killed the young ones instead. We started the journey of building a healthy Rwanda by first bringing back the values that had been destroyed by the previous leadership,” he said.
Lambert Bariho, a pastor and director of Ellel Ministries Rwanda emphasized to the audience that the family is God’s idea and there is need to involve him in solving its challenges. He urged that many problems in families are caused by the sinful nature of man but there is hope in Jesus, who has overcome sin.