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    GISENYI DISTRICT HOSPITAL BRIEFED ULK GISENYI CAMPUS COMMUNITY ON EBOLA PREVENTION

    On 23rd July 2019, Lt Col. Dr.KANYANKORE Williams, Director of Gisenyi District Hospital, addressed the entire ULK Gisenyi Community on what Ebola is all about and mechanisms towards its prevention.

    It was an event which was attended by students and staff members among others ISHEMA Pierre, the Director of Academic Affairs, KARARA Alexis, the Director of Administration and Finance, Heads of Departments, to mention but a few.

    In his welcome remarks, Mr. ISHEMA Pierre, the Director of Academic Affairs, thanked the management of Gisenyi Hospital and the speaker for having accepted the invitation to deliver a lecture on Ebola epidemic disease. He then requested the audience to be all eyes and ears for effective internalization of the speaker’s message.

    Mr. ISHEMA Pierre, the Director of Academic Affairs, ULK Gisenyi Campus

    At the very start Mr. RUHUMULIZA Gaspard, the moderator of the event, invited the Head of Department of Law, Mr. KAMALI Jean Damascèneto lead the participants in a word of prayer after which the Director of Academic Affairs delivered hiswelcome note.

    Mr. RUHUMULIZA Gaspard, the Moderator of the event

    Given the floor, Lt. Col. Dr. KANYANKORE William kick-started his talk with the historical background of Ebola whereby he made it clear that Ebola was first discovered in 1976 in the former Zaire (currently DR-Congo).

    The speaker pointed out that countries such as Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and South Sudan are at a higher risk of being affected by the disease as they neighbor the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Besides, the speaker highlighted possible causes leading to the contamination of Ebola such as eating dead animals including primates, body contact with a contaminated person’s secretion or sweats, touching tools used by the contaminated person or his equipment, name it.

    In the same perspective, the speaker mentioned some of the symptoms found on Ebola patients. They include high fever, headaches, stomachaches, physical weakness, vomiting and diarrhea, and bleeding the entire body.

    “So far, there is no effective cure of Ebola despite the existence of four different drugs undergoing trial. That is why we would like to urge you and the rest of the residents to remain cautious so as to avoid contracting the disease”, he told the gathering.

    Lt. Col. Dr. KANYANKORE also talked about Rwanda’s preparedness towards combating the disease. As he said, Rwanda has put in place the infrastructure that deals in combating the disease. The infrastructure includes a fever testing camera with the capacity of testing fifty persons in a mere second. Also, all districts neighboring DR Congo were equipped with hands washing points where passersby wash their hands. Apart from this, an Ebola Treatment Zone (Red Zone) has been established in Rugerero Sector of Rubavu District to take care of whoever will be suspected to have contracted the disease.   Special beds have also been availed to properly respond to the needs of whoever is infected. There is also a toll free line (114) that people can call whenever an Ebola case is suspected.

    Lt. Col. Dr KANYANKORE Williams addressing the audience

    Similarly, the medical staff has been vaccinated to make sure they don’t contract the disease easily while trying to save lives.

    The speaker’s talk climaxed in a call he made to all those in the room to always declare themselves if they think they have come across an infected person or once they find some of the aforementioned symptoms. He also requested the participants not to shake hands as this is one of the ways that spread the disease at a faster pace.

    At the end of the function, questions from the audience were raised and they all met satisfactory answers.

    One of the participants asking a question

    In his closing remarks, the Director of Academic Affairs, Mr. ISHEMA Pierre, thanked the speaker for his timely message and then he requested him to advocate for the campus so that a nurse can be sent to be providing Ebola testing services on the campus on a daily basis. He also requested Ebola vaccination services for the whole campus community.

    The campus events hall was full to its capacity

     

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    ULK DEBATE CLUB WINS EPRN INTER-UNIVERSITY CHAMPIONSHIP

    On 28th June 2019, the entire ULK community was in a frenzy after their Debate Team had won the EPRN Inter-University Debate Championship organized by EPRN in conjunction with Aspire Debate Rwanda. It was a competition that had brought together different universities operating in Rwanda. After the preliminary and semi-final stages, two teams, namely Kigali Independent University Debate Club and Mount Kenya Debate Club made it to the finals.

    Debating on the ULK side were NISHIMWE Ariane Douce, SHYAKA Jesse Rayson, and KABANDA Erica.

    At the final stage, the two teams were given a motion which goes, “This House believes that the Benefits of AfCFTA Outweigh the Costs.” Like any other professional debate competition proceeds, a free toss was made to determine the proposition and opposition side. This saw ULK Debate Club opposing the motion while Mount Kenya Debate Club proposed it.

    In a World Schools Debate Format, every debater was given five minutes to address the house with the reply speech from either side lasting for two minutes.

    Although Mount Kenya Debaters were the favorites as people who were proposing an initiative of African countries, they lavished their chances through failure to provide convincing facts and sometimes contradicting themselves. Upon realizing this, ULK Debaters attacked from the weaknesses of their opponents to thrash them before being crowned the champions.

    David Niyonsaba who was representing EPRN at the competition thanked all the universities which took part in the competition and told everyone that what matters in debate competitions is not the win over an opponent but instead it is the lessons participants learn. He also thanked the management of Kigali Independent University ULK for having accepted to host the competition.

    “I’d like to thank you all for having honored our invitation to take part in this competition. In the same perspective, I’d like to thank the management of Kigali Independent University for having accepted to host this event. We’ve enjoyed a wonderful reception and we’d love to keep cooperating with this great academic institution”, he told the participants.

    “Before becoming a debate judge, I was also a debater like you debating for my university. Whenever I went to debate, I always had in mind that lessons learned outweighed the win. Therefore, whenever you go for a competition, you should be proud of the lessons you learn from it other than the win over your opponent”, he added.

     

    Speaking on behalf of Kigali Independent University ULK, Mr. Jean Baptiste Manirakiza, the Director of the Language Center, thanked the organizers and participating universities for bringing the great competition at ULK. He also pledged that ULK will continue to cordially work with other academic institutions for mutual benefits.

    “On behalf of the management of this university, I’d like to thank EPRN and ADR for having entrusted confidence in us to host this great competition. Similarly, I’d like to thank the participating universities for their time spent at our institution as this a testament that our relationship with them is cordial and we will maintain this relationship for mutual benefits”, he said.

    It should be noted that the last three teams were awarded cash prizes.

     

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    ULK STUDENTS BRIEFED ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING

     

    On 27th June 2019, Kigali Independent University hosted a talk on human trafficking delivered by Florence Boivin and Dr. Denis Roumestan both Canadian nationals. Both are human rights activists who believed in the spirit that human beings should enjoy their lives with no one mistreating them. Florence and Dr. Devis are married and they have been working hand in hand to raise the awareness of the ills committed against humanity so that appropriate actions can be taken to stop the evils. Dr. Devis is a long serving lawyer who has been serving as an attorney for more than 40 years.

    As usual, visitors are welcomed before delivering their message. It is in this respect that Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, the Vice Chancellor of Kigali Independent University ULK welcomed them and said that their talk comes timely as it will help the students to know tricks used by traffickers to lure their victims.

     

    Shortly after the welcome remarks, Florence Boivin was handed the microphone to deliver her message. As she said, human trafficking is a crime against humanity which is close to torture whereby the traffickers pledge juicy things to easily win their victims’ hearts. She also made it clear that there are three main types of human trafficking; namely, sex trafficking, labor trafficking, and organ trafficking. With sex trafficking, the traffickers sell the victim to be sexually exploited. Labor trafficking, the victim is sold to work for some individuals without being recognized for the efforts she/he spends, while organ trafficking is about selling the victims for removing their body organs such as kidneys and give them to other people for money.

    “Pimps are people who buy girls and women to use them in sexual exploitation business and they have all the rights of the victims in their hands. All the victims’ have to do is to please the perverts who come for sexual pleasure. Failure to please the client may lead to the victim’s death”, she said.

    Florence said that 80% of human trafficking is at home. This means that people in different homes are playing a pivotal role in making this crime more rampant.

    “This crime has reached the level whereby some parents sell their own children to the traffickers. These parents are promised that their children will be given nice jobs in some factories but sometimes these parents receive disheartening news about their children’s death. When the child dies of torture, excessive sexual exploitation and the like, the traffickers will tell the family that the child succumbed to a disease or any other circumstance but not their mistreatment”, she told the participants.

    Corroborating Florence, Dr. Devis focused on the legal actions taken against human trafficking. As he said there are some legal texts, treaties used to fight human trafficking. He cited the Rwandan Law no. 514/2018/ of 13th August 2018 dealing with human trafficking. He quoted articles 5 and 24 of the same Law with the former urging any person with information on possible human trafficking incidents to alert competent authorities or government organs such as the police. And the latter describes the punishment handed to whoever is proven guilty of human trafficking.

    In their conclusion, the speakers urged the participants to always be good whistleblowers and inform the police or competent authorities of possible human trafficking cases. They also urged ULK students to launch an Anti-Human Trafficking Club to raise the voice against this evil.

    At the end of the function, questions were asked and answered satisfactorily before the Vice Chancellor thanked the speakers for their important talk.

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    Café littéraire

    Rwanda as a country that was hit by the most inconceivable pogroms of the 20th Century needs a number of steps and measures to effectively heal from the wounds of the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi in 1994. Of course, Rwanda set a vision to fast-track its socio-economic development and as studies reveal, the progress so far made is promising. One of the measures put in place to heal faster and keep chasing the development goals is telling the truth about the genocide, the history as it really happened. It is in this framework that on 20th June 2019 the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) organized a lecture on Rwanda’s history, specifically the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi. The lecture was hosted by Kigali Independent University ULK/ Kigali Campus and it was delivered by Archbishop Jean NDORIMANA.

    Upon the arrival of the speaker with the team he was heading, Dr. BINENWA Jean Bosco, Lecturer at Kigali Independent University ULK, welcomed them and introduced them to the participants who had thronged the conference room to its capacity.

    Shortly after the welcome note, NDORIMANA grabbed the microphone to deliver his message. As he said, the lecture was in line with the annual program organized by CNLG to brief members of the human family on genocide. As he said, the program is commonly known as “Café littéraire”. It is a program whereby a number of books are presented to an audience with one of them being the subject of discussion.

    “We’ve come here on behalf of the National Commission for the Fight against genocide to brief you on genocide, its effects, and its prevention. This is in line with the annual CNLG program known as Café Littéraire and we will be able to discuss one of the books here”, he told the predominantly youthful audience.

    The book that was selected is trilingual and it is entitled “The Genocide against the Tutsi compared to the Genocide of the Jews and the Armenians.”  This is a book that discusses the comparison between the three genocides as mentioned in the title of the book. As the speaker and author said, genocides have similarities. For example, the period before the execution of the genocide against the Jews was marked with hate speeches whereby Hitler, the leading architect of this genocide, said in his book, ‘Mein Kampf’ that Jews were behind the humiliation Germany suffered in the World War I., Of course, these were false and groundless allegations. He also said that Jews were a bad human race that did not deserve to live. On the other hand, he praised Germans that they were superior to any other race. The same happened in Rwanda where people like Hassan NGEZE and GITERA disseminated Ten Commandments of the Hutus. The commandments described Hutus as good while Tutsis were enemies and bad.

    The speaker gave many other similarities between the three genocides and his talk was highly appreciated as when he opened the floor for questions, a stream of attendees lined up for questions.

    In his conclusion, Archbishop Jean NDORIMANA called upon the participants especially the youth to stand shoulder to shoulder with the government and fight the genocide ideology wherever it might be because it is this ideology that simmers hatred, divisionism and other heinous acts which lead to genocide. He also said that with efforts being made, there is hope that the future of Rwanda is promising and no genocide will happen again.

     

     

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    ULK HOSTS A DEBATE COMPETITION

     

    On 13th June 2019, Kigali Independent University ULK hosted a debate competition organized by Economic Policy Research Network (EPRN) in conjunction with Aspire Debate Rwanda (ADR). The debate brought together six Universities operating within the City of Kigali namely KIM University, Adventist University of Central Africa, Kepler University, UNILAK, Mount Kenya University Rwanda and the University of Kigali.

    Officiating at the opening of the competition, Dr. LUBWAMA Joseph Ntege, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Kigali Independent University ULK thanked the organizers of the competition for having chosen ULK to host it. He also thanked all participating institutions before saying that a brighter future is not possible without people who think critically.

    “I’d like to thank EPRN and ADR for their decision to bring this great event here at our campus. ULK is renowned for its hospitality and good infrastructure that makes it the right place for hosting events like this. I’d also like to thank the debaters who have come along to give meaning to this competition. Indeed, debates aim at training people to speak confidently and think critically something without which there is no brighter future for our nations”, he told the gathering.

    While throwing some light on what Aspire Debate Rwanda is all about, David Ntambiye, the Executive Director of ADR said that the organization he heads was established to promote public speaking through debate education and other forms of public speeches. It also empowers youth on leadership and communication skills to nurture their critical thinking. He added that ADR believes in partnering with different institutions to better embrace its preset goals.

    “The establishment of Aspire Debate Rwanda came into force after realizing that there was a big gap in communication skills especially when it comes to speaking in public with confidence and thinking critically. We, therefore, thought about introducing an organization that will be training and tipping people especially the youth on public speaking skills and critical thinking. To achieve these objectives, we found it worthwhile to work closely with other institutions like ULK, EPRN and many others because alone we couldn’t get where we desired to be”, he expounded.

    Representing EPRN at the function was Niyonsaba David, Representative of Students Chapter who said that EPRN aims at equipping young people especially the youth with knowledge and skills of conducting research as well as enabling to showcase their research skills through public speaking.

    The participating universities were represented by three debaters each whereby all of them locked horns in three rounds before making it to the semi-finals and finals which will be held in a few days ahead. The debate clash rotated around three motions, notably “This House Believes that the Government Should Establish the Minimum Wage Policy”, This House Believes that the Benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area outweigh the costs” and “This House Believes that the Government Should Give Four Year Grace period to SMEs.”

    Kigali Independent University ULK was represented by three debaters namely NISHIMWE Ariane Douce, SHYAKA Jesse Rayson, and KABANDA Erica.

    It should be noted that ULK debaters were declared winners of the three rounds they participated in. With this, there is a glimmer of hope that the semi-finals and even finals will be for them a walk in the park.

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    ULK AWARDS BEST STAFF MEMBERS

    On 01/05./2019, the ULK entire staff gathered in a conference hall to celebrate the International Workers’ Day. In the same event, the best performers who showcased outstanding realizations over the previous academic year were awarded.

    The event attracted all employees of Kigali Independent University ULK, those serving ULK Polytechnic Institute and those at the ULK Business wing, SOCOBA.

    In his welcome remarks, Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, the Vice Chancellor of ULK who spoke on behalf of the university management said that celebrating Labor Day is something that ULK has been doing for quite some years and it is a day that enables the staff members to evaluate themselves and see some areas that need improvement.

    “We gather together every year to celebrate Labor Day. This is something ULK cherishes as we recognize the unwavering contribution of our employees. Indeed, this is an event that reminds us that we should rejoice while bearing in mind that the loopholes found in our duties have to be covered so as to better propel the mandate of this institution”, he told the participants.

    Before awarding the overall best performers, the Director of Administration and Finance, Mr. NSENGIYUMVA Jacques, told the employees that ULK employees are generally best but among the best, there are always the best. To this, he requested those whose names were not to be mentioned for awards to take it easy as awards are limited and can’t be given to everybody.

    “ULK employees are believed to be the best workers. That is why you have continued to enjoy your monthly payments. You can’t be cheating the institution and remain on the payroll. Therefore, you have all been completing your assignments exceptionally though when it comes to awarding, only the best of the best walk away with prizes”, he told his fellow employees.

    Corroborating what the Director of Administration and Finance had said, Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, said that ULK is one of the institutions which never register arrears when it comes to paying employees. He then requested the employees to keep fulfilling their duties decently without waiting for someone to remind them.

    “ULK is among the few institutions which release their employees’ salary every month without registering any delay. You have always been receiving your salary every month and I have never seen anyone complaining about salary delay. It is against this background that I’d like to urge you to keep doing what you are supposed to do and do it timely and willfully if you really wish to enjoy a good working environment”, he advised the participants.

    After awarding the overall best performers, the participants proceeded with a conviviality which was full of eats and soft drinks.

     

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    KWIBUKA 25 AT ULK KIGALI

     

    On 22nd May 2019, the entire community of Kigali Independent University ULK got together to pay tribute to the victims of the 1994 genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi.

    The function kick-started with a walk to remember which began from the ULK campus to the Kigali Memorial Site where wreaths of flowers were laid on the graves in which more than 250,000 remains of the victims are laid to rest.

    Upon arriving at the memorial site, the students and staff were briefed on the historical background of the memorial site whereby it was said that the move to erect a memorial site aimed at safeguarding facts of the genocide to enable people to have clear information on the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi. Shortly after briefing them, they laid wreaths of flowers on the graves and then proceeded with the tour of the memorial site.

    Back to the campus, the mourners gathered in the ULK stadium for the commemoration night. It was a night full of commemoration songs, testimonies and lectures.

    In his welcome remarks Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, the Vice Chancellor of Kigali Independent University, thanked the attendees for having dedicated their time to the noble cause. He also thanked the visitors who had come from different corners of Kigali City for their decision to join ULK for commemorating the genocide against the Tutsi. He also called upon young survivors of the genocide to behave decently so as to effectively please their slain parents.

    “The best way to please your slain parents is by behaving acceptably without engaging in immoral practices such as drug abuse, cheating exams and the like. You can’t claim to be paying tribute to the killed souls while you still take part in some malpractices”, he told them.

    One of the dignitaries who spoke at this function is Dr GASANABO Jean Damascène, Director General of Research and Documentation Center at the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) who delivered a lecture on the post-genocide national rebuilding. As he said, the genocide against the Tutsi destroyed the nation’s economy to the extent that rebuilding required starting almost from scratch. He also mentioned efforts the government put in place to fast-track development.

    The Chief Guest at this function was MBERABAHIZI Christian Raymond, the Gasabo District Vice-Mayor for Finance and Economic Development who commended ULK for having taken the lead in organizing commemoration events among all private institutions created after the genocide. He also called upon young people to disassociate from any ideology that seeks to harbor divisionism among Rwandans.

    “I would like to wholeheartedly thank the management of ULK for having been the first private institution to heed our call for organizing commemoration events annually. Still here, I would like to urge ULK students and other young people from across the country to always refute the hate ideology mostly disseminated via social media, by giving the right information of the prevailing situation in the country. Rwandans currently enjoy brotherly relationships with no room for the genocide ideology. Please inform the world”, he urged the youth.

    It should be noted that the commemoration of the Genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi extends from April to July every year to mark the 100 days through which the tragedy was carried out.

     

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    ULK/GISENYI CAMPUS BRIEFED ON THE IMPORTANCE OF READING ACROSS UNIVERSITY PATH

    Friday 17th May 2019, a group of students from Kigali Independent University ULK/Gisenyi Campus organized, under the lead of the Campus Management, a conference on a theme dubbed, “The importance of reading across the university path.”

    As a matter of fact, the conference aimed at awakening the students to develop a reading habit. Over five hundred students were in attendance to hear from knowledgeable speakers from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as well as those from Rwanda.

    Taking the floor in the first instance, Mr. David KALENDA, a professional communicator and Director of Radio POLE FM broadcasting from Goma, elaborated on the importance of daily reading and eventually urged the participants to invest in buying books since these ones directly connect them to knowledge.

     “Reading is of paramount importance for anyone and especially students. It is a source of knowledge. If you want to grow into knowledgeable people, invest in buying books and read them on a daily basis”, he told the gathering.

    In his presentation, Mr. ISHEMA Pierre, Coordinator of ULK/Gisenyi Campus highlighted the importance of a physical library which seems to be ignored nowadays, yet it remains the most reliable source of information.

    “It goes without saying that nowadays’ young people undermine the importance of a physical library, yet it remains the source of veracity of information. Our university has, besides a digital library, put in place a well equipped physical library in your favour. Sad to say, many of you hardly visit the physical library to read books. I urge you to maximize its utility (…)”, he said.

    Speaking on the occasion, poet BUKASA revealed the gain from reading by sharing his own personal experience. He elaborated on the impact of reading on the life of any scientist stating that he has been given various awards and opportunities to travel across the world thanks to reading.

    “I am a litterature icon as a result of reading books. I am a lover of books, literature as well as African Literature. Thanks to my good reading habits, I happened to win various awards and opportunities to visit different countries across the world. I urge you people to follow in my footsteps”, he enthusiastically told the gathering.

    To wind up the presentation, Brother Alexis HATEKEKIMANA, Managing Director of “Vision Jeunesse Nouvelle”/Rubavu told the gathering that reading will help them become good leaders.

    “Reading books is of great help for you, especially those who have a burning ambition to embark on the leadership of our country in the future. Indeed, a daily reading will help you become informed people, and that will positively impact on your communities”, he was quoted saying.

    Everything considered, the students pledged to maximize the utility of reading facilities that the university has availed for them. That being said, the conference was brought to close.