Deogratius Sinzabakwira, a resident of Ruhango district, faced a conflict with his wife, stemming from issues of miscommunication and financial management. The situation was particularly challenging as their main source of income relied on farming for others, yielding only a modest financial return. Whenever we earned from our casual work, that money addressed some problems but left others unattended. I realized that relying solely on income from farming wouldn't take us far, which led me to consider initiating a project.” ALSO READ: Minister Bayisenge calls for more efforts in addressing family conflicts Sinzabakwira sought support from neighbours and invested in bananas, utilizing them to produce juice. His involvement in the venture spanned both prosperous and challenging periods. He said that, however, during the less profitable days, his wife found it difficult to comprehend and accused him of dishonesty. We had disagreements over the amount of money I brought home, and she suspected that I was lying. This perception stemmed from her own experiences in the business, where she had achieved profits on a few occasions. She began to entertain the idea that I might be diverting the money elsewhere, Sinzabakwira explained. ALSO READ: Legal experts talk alternative dispute resolution and criminal justice policies He added that the financial discord exacerbated tensions in the home to the extent of his wife expressing concern whenever he didn't arrive home by 7 p.m. Upon realizing that the issue was persisting and he couldn’t handle it on his own, Sinzabakwira decided to approach the Inshuti z’Umuryango (Friends of the Family), a cadre of para-professional volunteers who are selected by residents in every village based on their good reputation. They usually work as a pair in supporting children and families and are responsible for assisting in protecting them from violence, abuse, and exploitation. ALSO READ: Inshuti z’Umuryango: Volunteers who are changing children’slife in local communities According to Sinzabakwira, they acted as mediators and attentively listened to both him and his wife, providing support to help them navigate through their conflict. We communicated our problem to them, and then they came home where we expressed everything without holding back, and as a result, our problem was resolved. The entire process went smoothly, he said. ALSO READ: Mediation helps ‘offer justice, mend relations’- officials say Today, Sinzabakwira and his wife coexist harmoniously, having avoided quarrels by communicating and reaching a mutual agreement before undertaking any activity. When we have limited funds, we discuss and agree on how to use them. Our children now feel secure and at peace, unlike before when they were concerned due to sensing tension between their father and mother, he explained. Sinzabakwira underscored that since adopting the new approach to living with his wife harmoniously, they have achieved progress that he considered “elusive” during times of conflict. After embarking on a new journey, we began constructing a house on our land, and now it is in the roofing stage, he said. The beneficiary of mediation, which is one of the alternative dispute resolution programmes, emphasised the importance of mediation within families rather than resorting to punishment. ALSO READ: Over 4,000 cases resolved through mediation in five years He said that opting for a court resolution involves not only punishments but also court fees incurred during the legal process, leading to a disruption in work—a loss for both the family and the country. I express my gratitude to Inshuti z’Umuryango for their role in resolving my issue. I also appreciate the Government of Rwanda for acknowledging that certain conflicts and issues within families require external intervention, hence establishing the programme, he concluded. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other development partners have joined hands and supported the justice sector in developing strategic plans for policies related to dispute resolution.