Peace building and conflict transformation interventions focus on healing the past and reconciliation to shape the social fabric of the Rwandan community through dialogues, trainings, community forums, storytelling and experience sharing, Gathering genocide survivors, perpetrators, youth, ex-combatants, religious leaders and local leaders with the aim of recovering from the events of the 1994 genocide against Tutsis which is still in the memories of many people. Fostering reconciliation, improving relations, building trust and telling the truth related to what happened in the 1994 genocide.
Since June 2016 GER has been working in partnership with CFOR to facilitate community forums, training and interaction dialogues to support the process of reconciliation in Rwanda. Interventions target genocide survivors, youth, perpetrators, ex-combatants, religious leaders and local leaders in order to recover from collective trauma and overcome the legacy of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Since then to date, the project has been operating in three districts of Bugesera, Gasabo and Kicukiro. Under this program, trainees have received training manuals and are active in their respective communities where they apply skills learnt in training to support the local leadership in the reconciliation process because they are considered as resourceful people in their communities.
Our interventions have been successful in terms of the reconciliation process. Participants have appreciated the approach used in facilitating community dialogue since it has been and remains a way to express themselves, tell the truth, share painful stories and experiences which is a healing process, truth telling and asking for forgiveness on the side of perpetrators. Relations have improved and feedback from local authorities indicates how far reconciliation is supporting the process of reconciliation in community initiatives groups such as agricultural associations composed of genocide survivors and perpetrators. Through these initiatives, survivors and perpetrators help each other not only in improving their livelihoods but also in building trust, promoting income generating activities and sharing experiences with their descendants. Members of agriculture associations can handle pending issues related to damage properties during genocide themselves and restore the broken relations and trust. We will keep advocating that this kind of initiative is scaled up countrywide at community level to support the reconciliation process.
Nevertheless, genocide effects still persist within the Rwandan community since trauma, mistrust, shame exist from youth born from perpetrators and rape, and youth from survivors who want to know all about the genocide. Our focus is the next generation to build their capacities for effective participation in the process of sustainable peace, reconciliation and conflict transformation. Youth from survivors and perpetrators will have a space for dialogue through which they will share experiences and stories to shape their future and bring changes in community leadership, fight against drug and substance abuse, early pregnancies, stigma and discrimination.
Furthermore issues related to marginalized groups, conflicts between refugees and host communities will be addressed through forums, trainings, interactions and advocacy. GER seeks to initiate cross border dialogue to support Great Lakes communities affected by ethnicity conflicts and Genocide effects in Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. Those interested can contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org