- August 21, 2023
On August 19, 2023, Ambassador Mathilde Mukantabana joined the United States Rwandan Community in Seattle, Washington State, to celebrate Umuganura, the “National Harvest Day”. The event drew Rwandans, friends of Rwanda, as well as guests including representatives from the Bill Gates Foundation and the former president of Washington’s Jewish community.
Ambassador Mukantabana expressed her admiration for the community’s exceptional efforts in organizing such a remarkable event that beautifully encapsulated Rwanda’s history of sharing the harvest.
“I extend my heartfelt gratitude for what can easily be termed the finest Umuganura celebration we have ever experienced within our community” she warmly remarked.
The ambassador went on to acknowledge and appreciate community members who generously contribute their expertise in diverse areas, recognizing that this act of knowledge-sharing exemplifies a contemporary way of embracing the Umuganura spirit.
Immaculate Busingye, a member of the Rwandan community, took the opportunity to share insights regarding financial literacy. She underscored the significance of prudent financial planning, including savings and insurance strategies. She cautioned against finding oneself in a financial crisis during critical moments. She urged attendees to seize the various opportunities available for safeguarding their financial future, such as death insurance and retirement planning. She articulated that proactive steps taken while alive can prevent families from resorting to tedious fundraising processes for unexpected expenses, such as burial costs.
Mr. Yehoyada Mbangukira, the President of the United States Rwandan Community Abroad, expressed that the National Harvest Day embodies how Rwandans contribute to the development of the places they reside, not only in Rwanda but also in the US. He commended the Rwandan community in Washington State, led by Jean-Paul Kamali, for their efforts and encouraged other Rwandan communities to take inspiration from their example.
“Today the Rwandan community of Seattle has proven to us the beauty of Rwanda, our culture, and unity stemming from collaboration towards building the Rwanda we want.”
The gathering was entertained with cultural performances, featuring traditional dance troupes and plays that portrayed Rwanda’s heritage and values.
Umuganura is a Rwandan cultural festival in which communities come together to share the harvest. It includes celebrating the start of the harvest within each community across all the 60 plus agricultural value chains in Rwanda. During this year’s celebrations, citizens affected by the recent floods and landslides were given cows.