The memorial and the memorial centre are in Gisozi which is a ten-minute journey from the centre of Kigali. This memorial centre is one of six major centres in Rwanda that commemorate the Rwanda Genocide.
The remains of the people here were brought from all over the capital after they had been left in the street or thrown in the river. They are buried together in lots of 100,000. The memorial was opened in 1999.
The center documents the genocide, but it also describes the history of Rwanda that preceded the event. Comparisons are also made with similar sites in Germany, Japan, Cambodia, and Bosnia. Unlike the ex-concentration camps, at Auschwitz Birkenau, the Rwanda site includes human remains and the tools and weapons used in their destruction.
On the Upstairs floor, the center includes three permanent exhibitions, the largest of which documents the genocide in 1994, helping to set in context Rwanda’s nightmare in a historical context. There is a children’s memorial, with Life-sized photos, accompanied by intimate details about their favorite toys, their last words and the manner in which they were killed.
There is also an exhibition on the history of genocidal violence around the world. The Education Center, Memorial Gardens, and National Documentation Center of the Genocide contribute to a meaningful tribute to those who perished and form a powerful educational tool for the next generation.
The Kigali Memorial Center is international. It deals with a topic of international importance, with far-reaching significance, and is designed to engage and challenge an international visitor base. The informative audio tour includes background on the divisive colonial experience in Rwanda and as the visit progresses, the exhibits become steadily more powerful, as you are confronted with the crimes that took place here and moving video testimony from survivors.
The commission from the Kigali City Council was to develop the memorial site, where up to 250,000 genocide victims were buried in mass graves, into a memorial centre and permanent exhibition for the benefit of survivors and young people. The Aegis Trust manages the Kigali Genocide Memorial and is developing it with a school of education.