Football Opens Path to Reconciliation
Eric Murangwa Eugene was a 19-year-old goalkeeper for Rwanda’s most beloved football team when the 1994 Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsis began. On the first day of the genocide, soldiers came to Eric’s house, looking for enemies of the state. But one of the soldiers saw an album filled with photos of his time with the team, and Eric was saved. Eric spent much of the genocide in hiding, helped by his teammates and supporters of his football club, many of them Hutus. Today, Eric is the founder of an organization called Football for Hope, Peace and Unity. It uses football as a tool to promote tolerance, unity and reconciliation among Rwandan youth in order to prevent tragedies like the 1994 genocide from ever happening again.