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66 2016-04-19 Arirang TV, 'Saemaul Movement' Special

Arirang TV 'Saemaul Movement' Special

ARIRANG SPECIAL - Good Morning! Rwanda
April 22 (Fri) 12:30PM

(Link to Arirang Special)


The Republic of Rwanda is located in the Mideast of Africa. 93% of the land is composed of hills, a characteristic that earned its nickname of 'One Thousand Beautiful Hills.' However, Rwanda has such a painful past and it is well-known for its civil war. In April 1994, 20 years ago from now, 0.8 million Tutsi tribespeople and 0.2 million Hutu tribespeople were killed over the course of 100 days due to the ethnic cleansing done by Hutu tribe hardliners. 1 million people, which made up 10% of the total population of Rwanda then, were sacrificed in a brutal way, marking this incident as the worst massacre post World War I and II, and the first thing one thinks about when mentioning Rwanda.

Arirang TV visited Rwanda in order to film the country 20 years after the Rwanda Massacre. Producer Park Hee-seung, who covered the country, said “I visited the place expecting Rwanda to be caught up in despair, carrying the unmentionable scar it earned years ago.” However, in reality, there was hope rather than despair growing in Rwanda. That was due to the passing down of the 'Saemaul Movement,' part of Korea's ODA (Official Development Assistance). Right now, there are four pilot Saemaul villages in Kigarama, Musimba, Gihogwe, and Gashora and there are 20 Saemaul volunteer members dispatched from Korea's Saemaul Globalization Foundation informing the places of the Saemaul Movement. Thanks to this, the village people are deeply immersed in the appeal of the Saemaul Movement and are participating in rice farming, bee keeping, poultry farm, dyeing, and sewing. That is, they have gained confidence that they can work together and earn a profit from it. A gradual change was taking place in small villages in the areas of improved living environments, education services, etc., just like how it was in the Korean rural areas in the 1970s.

A local person from Rwanda says that the Saemaul Movement is great in that it transforms the mental side of people rather than offer simple relief goods like the other international relief organizations do. They seemed to know the true meaning of the Saemaul Movement. Also, the Korean volunteer members felt that they were doing the right job when they saw local people who told the people who wanted simple benefits that they had to work together to earn things. Also, they said that they wanted Rwanda to remember the spirit of the Saemaul Movement even after they leave. Now the hope is that Rwanda is remembered not as a country of tragedy but as 'One Thousand Beautiful Hills' that rose up by itself from despair.

Photo 1. ARIRANG SPECIAL – Good Morning! Rwanda

Photo 2. ARIRANG SPECIAL - Good Morning! Rwanda

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