Remembering is a way to fight trauma, students told

HUYE – Rwandans should always remember the terrible past that befell the country as one way of fighting trauma, Dr Eugene Rutembesa, a Senior Lecturer in the department of Clinical Psychology told students at the National University of Rwanda (NUR) last week.
Members of the Evangelical Restoration Church marching from Kacyiru to Kigali Genocide memorial centre where they donated 500.000Frw. (Photo/ J. Mbanda)
Members of the Evangelical Restoration Church marching from Kacyiru to Kigali Genocide memorial centre where they donated 500.000Frw. (Photo/ J. Mbanda)

HUYE – Rwandans should always remember the terrible past that befell the country as one way of fighting trauma, Dr Eugene Rutembesa, a Senior Lecturer in the department of Clinical Psychology told students at the National University of Rwanda (NUR) last week.

Addressing students at the University’s main auditorium,, Rutembesa said that the commemoration period is a time to flash back on what happened in order to prepare for a better future.

“In remembering, people find a way to express their feelings and emotions.  It is a way of coming to terms with the tragedy by expressing what they saw, finding an explanation for them and trying to come up with a solution for the future,” Dr Rutembesa said.

“Giving people space to express themselves freely, crying and weeping can be helpful.”

He told students that the remembrance period is a time for people to share experiences, ideas and emotions in order to reintegrate themselves into normal life. He noted that keeping silent on what one saw affects the individual psychologically.

“One sign of trauma is having fear of anything that can make you remember what happened, you need to remember without losing the capacity to go forward,” he added.

Dr Rutembesa urged students to approach those who, at anytime, may express signs of trauma.

“We can all be trauma counsellors. Just listening to someone may bring him back to life,” he counselled.
Several participants noted that remembering the past, particularly the Genocide, is a step forward in trying to make life better.

“Reflecting on your past and comparing it to the present, is a motivation to build a better world for all,” said Augustin Rugundana, a second year Political Science student.

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