Rwanda

Context

More than two decades after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda continues to experience high levels of trauma, particularly amongst Genocide survivors.  Simultaneously, several genocide prisoners have been released, as well as more than 20000 prisoners to be released over the next four years. Their return into society is likely to lead to an increase in levels of anxiety and other mental and psycho-social problems amongst survivors and others- including immediate families of these ex-prisoners, directly impacting the work being done to foster social cohesion and reconciliation across communities in Rwanda. This is also aggravated by several other risk factors including emotional and substance abuse, sexual and gender-based violence, family conflicts, social tensions, livelihood challenges, and intergenerational transmission of genocide legacies.

In response to this reality, Interpeace and its local partners, including Prison Fellowship Rwanda (PFR), Dignity in Detention Organization (DIDE) and HAGURUKA are implementing a programme entitled: ‘’Reinforcing community capacity for social cohesion and reconciliation through Societal Trauma Healing.” This innovative initiative offers a holistic approach to simultaneously address mental health, promote social cohesion, and stimulate sustainable collaborative livelihoods of individuals and communities.

The programme provides safe spaces for dialogue, healing, and capacity strengthening of existing formal l mental health structures and local societal healing practitioners to strengthen a comprehensive and community-based mental health and psycho-social support system.

Goal


Our programme aims to contribute to the consolidation of a peaceful, resilient, and an inclusive Rwandan society that is enabled to overcome the wounds of the past, peacefully manage conflicts and diversity, collectively and inclusively strengthen livelihood resilience, and is empowered to influence policies that are responsive to citizen priorities. This goal is implemented through three axes: mental health, social cohesion, and sustainable collaborative livelihoods. Gender, climate resilience, and conflict sensitiveness aspects are also integrated as cross-cutting issues across the three axes.

Initiatives


Supporting societal trauma healing processes

Trauma healing remains a pressing public health concern in Rwanda.  Interpeace and its local partners have contributed towards addressing this challenge by implementing a holistic peacebuilding programme that focused on mental health and psychosocial support, social cohesion, and economic development through collaborative livelihood to foster both individual and community healing. This initiat...



Youth Engage

Youth is a key demographic for the Rwanda National Development agenda. Nevertheless poverty, unemployment, poor productivity, lack of economic empowerment, deficit in education and training as well as lack of access and utilization of ICT have continued to hinder the progress of youth development in the country. Research conducted by Never Again Rwanda and Interpeace identified fundamental issu...


Past initiatives


Promoting dialogue processes

The programme facilitates dialogue spaces in which community members can openly discuss sensitive topics, identify solutions and reach consensus on priorities for peace. The dialogue gives community members of diverse backgrounds an opportunity to regularly convene. The programme has led a number of youth groups that critically discussed issues of trust, identity and stereotyping, and the history ...



Fostering participatory governance

The participatory governance aspect of the programme helps citizen groups to bring their priorities to the attention of policy- and decision-makers at the local, district and national levels. This makes it possible for decision-makers to consider citizen voices and priorities at critical stages of policy making, public programme development and assessment. Interpeace and Never Again Rwanda also wo...


Country Representative

For more information about the Rwanda country-programme, please contact the country representative.

Resources

Rwanda – Healing Journey

video

7 December 2022