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Home - Interpeace : Interpeace
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Rwanda Societal Healing Insights

This page provides insights on interventions and lessons learned of Interpeace’s holistic approach to Societal Trauma Healing and peacebuilding in Rwanda. It is related to a programme that simultaneously addresses mental health, strengthens social cohesion, and stimulates community-based collaborative livelihoods.

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Figures of the pilot programme implemented in Bugesera
(October 2020 – December 2023)

People reached

0
0%
6344 male
0%
6840 female
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Figures of the pilot programme implemented in Bugesera
(October 2020 – December 2023)

Multifamily therapy

0
groups / spaces
0
graduates
0%
279 male
0%
301 female
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Figures of the pilot programme implemented in Bugesera
(October 2020 – December 2023)

Resilience-oriented therapy

0
groups / spaces
0
graduates
0%
122 male
0%
189 female
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Figures of the pilot programme implemented in Bugesera
(October 2020 – September 2022)

Collaborative Livelihoods initiatives

0
groups supported
0
members
0%
49 male
0%
51 female
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Figures of the pilot programme implemented in Bugesera
(October 2020 – December 2023)

Sociotherapy

0
groups / spaces
0
graduates
0%
710 male
0%
730 female
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Healing groups / spaces created:

0
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Community-based facilitators trained to facilitate healing spaces:

0

People trained in Life Skills and Psychoeducation:

0
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Mental Health Professionals trained on the use of contextualised MHPSS protocols:

0

Event

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NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SOCIETAL HEALING IN RWANDA
Theme: Rethinking Societal Trauma Healing Approaches

Outcomes of the Societal Trauma Healing Pilot Programme, implemented in Bugesera District (October 2020 - September 2022)

09 March 2023

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On March 9th, 2023, a National Conference was organised with the aim of sharing the successes, challenges and lessons identified from the implementation of the Societal Trauma Healing pilot programme implemented in Bugesera District, eastern Rwanda from October 2020 – September 2022 with financial support of the European Union.

The conference also familiarized policymakers, trauma healing and peacebuilding actors, government officials, the media, academia, and others with the programme approaches to stir up debate around societal trauma healing approaches in Rwanda.

Participants aimed to discuss, rethink, and reshape societal healing approaches and methods for a contextualized solution and better collaboration and coordination among actors in the sector. The event was also an opportunity to engage stakeholders on the way forward regarding the sustainability of the programme’s achievements. 

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Moderator:

Adelite Mukamana

Senior Psychologist, Prison Fellowship Rwanda

Speakers:

Francoise Mukaremera

Graduate of the Sociotherapy for Adults Group

Francoise Mukaremera, 49, is a survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. The horrors she experienced resulted in a major depression associated with self-isolation. Her healing journey started when she voluntarily joined a community-based Sociotherapy Healing Groups/Space created in Juru Sector, Bugesera District. The healing dialogues helped her to heal from her deep wounds and reconnect with people. Mukaremera has become a model for her community. She is now supporting other wounded people to heal, inspiring them with personal healing experiences.

Valens Ndanzineza

Graduate of the Sociotherapy for Youth Group

Valens Nsanzineza’s father is an ex-prisoner who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for crimes he committed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Having a parent who committed genocide crimes, affected Nsanzineza’s life. He lived in constant shame, guilt, rejection, and trauma because of his father’s crimes. He found healing and solace after voluntarily joining a community-based Sociotherapy healing space created exclusively for youth. Now, he has regained inner peace and confidence. The healing dialogues have encouraged him to take bold initiative to reconcile his family and the families his father wronged.

Faustin Bizimana

Graduate of the Multifamily Healing Space/Group

Faustin Bizimana is an ex-prisoner who served 10 years in prison for his role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. His release sparked conflict within his family and exacerbated the rejection and hatred developed by his family members against him. Bizimana did not want to tell his family the truth about his crimes during the genocide. Joining a Multifamily healing space/group created in Juru Sector, Bugesera District, was the beginning of a transformation journey. Bizimana was able to heal and tell his family the truth about his role in the Genocide. He asked for forgiveness from people he wronged. The healing dialogues enabled Bizimana’s family to establish an honest dialogue. They have regained peace and restored family communication and cohesiveness.

Vestine Nirere

Collaborative Livelihoods

Vestine Nirere, 21, found healing and comfort from Sociotherapy Healing Space/Group for young people created in Mareba Sector, Bugesera District. After her father was imprisoned for the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi related crimes, the family experienced extreme poverty, exacerbated by shame, fear and feelings of guilt. She had to drop out of school and take care of her two younger siblings as their mother died afterwards. The healing dialogues have helped her to regain self-acceptance, confidence, and hope for the future. She was supported to acquire hands-on skills in tailoring that have enabled her to earn a living. She is now able to cater for the family and meet the needs of her little sister who is still in high school.

Rachid Emmanuel Rukundo

Community-based Facilitator

Rachid Emmanuel Rukundo, 36, is a community-based facilitator of the healing spaces/groups. Under the Bugesera pilot programme, he has facilitated eight Sociotherapy and Multifamily therapy healing groups. Like other facilitators, Rachid was selected from within his community based on his integrity, honesty, and interest in serving his community. For him, the most rewarding was to see individuals and families from his community who considered each other as worst enemies together again, reestablishing relationships and trust. The skills he learnt have helped him to better support other members of his community to settle their disputes and find solace in the healing process.