Arsenal Football club has revealed how its star, David Luiz, enjoyed a two-day trip to Rwanda, which saw him experience the country’s famous hospitality, learn about its rich culture and natural wonders and understand how Rwandans have united to drive the country forward as a leading reformer in Africa.
According to the Club, “David, accompanied by his mother and fiancée, began his trip by visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial, where he paid respects to the victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. He learned about the causes of the genocide and how Rwandans have built a new nation on a foundation of dignity and togetherness. David and his family honoured the victims by laying a wreath and observing a moment of silence.”
The football star also met the president of Rwanda, H.E. Paul Kagame, and visited Singita Kwitonda Lodge in the Northern Province where he planted an indigenous tree as part of efforts to reforest areas surrounding the stunning Volcanoes National Park – home to the endangered mountain gorillas.
On day two, “David and his family trekked through the volcanoes to see Rwanda’s mountain gorillas. During the incredible wildlife experience, they learnt about the country’s successful efforts to conserve and protect the gorillas and their habitat. David then attended a national league football match at Kigali Regional Stadium where he met players, young Rwandans from the Irebero Goalkeeper Training Centre and enthusiastic fans.”
He “concluded his trip by meeting hundreds of Arsenal fans at the Kigali Convention Centre where he answered questions on his experience in Rwanda and his life and football career.”
The Club said, “the trip was part of Visit Rwanda’s groundbreaking partnership with Arsenal, which also includes a focus on football development through a unique partnership between the club, the Rwandan Football Federation and the national Ministry of Sports and Culture to develop and nurture local football talent at the grassroots level for girls and boys.”
David Luiz, said: “It has been incredible to learn about this wonderful country and experience the welcoming spirit of the Rwandan people. I came with the curiosity to learn about the country, considering what it went through 25 years ago. I have to say I was inspired by how fast it has moved forward and how it has become a progressive, fast-growing nation with so many amazing things to see and do.
“My family and I are so thankful for the opportunity to come here and see the passion of football fans, experience Rwanda’s culture and witness breath-taking scenery. From trekking to see mountain gorillas to watching local football and mixing with fans of all ages, it has been a humbling and wonderful experience. We can’t wait to come back and see even more of this beautiful country. I’m going to recommend all my friends to spend their holidays in Rwanda.”
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Credit: The Arsenal Football Club plc