Supporting trauma healing processes
Trauma healing remains a pressing public health issue in Rwanda. NAR and Interpeace have contributed towards addressing this challenge by implementing a psychosocial support group therapy programme over a four-year period, fostering both individual healing and social cohesion. This initiative was carried out on the basis of a research study by NAR and Interpeace in 2015, which showed that many Rwandans still carry wounds from the Genocide. In some cases, the wounds have been passed down to successive generations which—although not directly impacted by the Genocide—must contribute to the nation’s recovery. After four years, the results of the psychosocial support group therapy are both encouraging and instructive. Participants have gradually become able to express themselves in a group setting, resulting in greater empathy and tolerance. Data from the programme shows that the group approach has reduced the effects of trauma among participants by 25%, and a reduced likelihood to seek revenge through violence. More significantly, the number of participants with regular suicidal thoughts dropped by 66%. Participants also exhibited a more proactive attitude towards mediation and reconciliation efforts, and increased involvement in family and community affairs.
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