Welcome to Rwanda
“Welcome to Rwanda. We are Sonia and Alain.
Rwanda has such natural beauty we want to encourage people to visit. Rwanda is often referred to as the ‘Land of a Thousands Hills’ because of its incredible mountainous and green landscape. We have been making films about our country and what life is like for us as children living in Rwanda. Rwanda has a sad and brutal past. We are taught about the 1994 genocide at school, but we want to move forward and show people that Rwanda has a lot to offer the world. We want to put the past where it belongs – in the past.
SOS Children's Village Kigali
It was a lot of fun making the films about our lives and about our country. We hope you enjoy finding out more.”
Alain, Sonia, their friends and most young Rwandans are keen to show the world that Rwanda is a growing and prospering country. They know the history of their country and its sorrow, but they want to move on. The videos that have been put together by Alain, Sonia and other children at the SOS Children’s Village in Kigali show their daily life. They meet different people and show how and what Rwanda is doing to re-build its image to the world.
Rwanda produces high-quality tea and coffee crops. Together, tea and coffee make up nearly four-fifths of the country’s agricultural exports.
Under its ‘Vision 2020’, the Rwandan government hopes to transform the country into a middle-income nation.
Rwanda’s spectacular scenery and wildlife are a huge attraction for visitors. The tourist sector brings in over 200 million dollars annually and provides employment or earnings to around 350,000 people. Tourism is now the country’s largest source of foreign earnings.
In Rwanda, primary education is now free and compulsory for six years from the age of seven. Since education became free, the number of children enrolled in school has risen dramatically, particularly among girls.
With almost two-thirds of people living below the poverty line in Rwanda, malnutrition rates are high among children. Nearly two out of every ten young children (less than five) are underweight and over half are stunted.
Over two-thirds of Rwandans are Christian, mainly Catholic, though smaller evangelical churches are becoming more popular.
Despite the growing economy, life is hard for most ordinary Rwandans. Women often bear the brunt of earning a living and looking after dependants.
The combination of the genocide and the HIV/AIDS epidemic has also left many one-parent families or families headed by children or young people.
Rwanda is a small landlocked country. Mountains run down its western side and the large Lake Kivu sits along the western border.
Rwanda is sometimes called ‘the Switzerland of Africa’ because of its mountainous terrain.